Study: One-Third of Americans Have Less Than $1000 Toward Retirement

180px-United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverseWe have previously discussed the income disparity in the country and the alarming lack of savings for a great percentage of our fellow citizens. Now a study shows that roughly one third of the population have saved less than $1,000 for retirement. Equally surprising is the estimate of what will be needed to live comfortably in the future.

One study entitled “Preparing for Retirement in America,” by Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald and Associates says that only 65 percent of workers have any savings for retirement. The number of people with such funds fell from 75 percent in 2009 to 65 percent today.

You then have the 28 percent with less than $1,000 in retirement. For a 20 year old, some are suggesting that $7 million will be need to retire comfortably in the future. I am not sure what the basis for that figure is. In 2014, someone retiring with $1 million can withdraw $43,600 a year.” That itself is quite a jump from the $166,000 needed in 1970.

Regardless of the figures, it does appear that too few people have access to 401K plans provided through their employer. When combined with the earlier study showing a shocking percentage of 33 percent of households in cities like Chicago living paycheck to paycheck, one can see how precarious the position is for many Americans in this economy.

Here is the study.

41 thoughts on “Study: One-Third of Americans Have Less Than $1000 Toward Retirement”

  1. I worked in the to save35years haved saved six figures for retirement retired at 55yres of age. Taught to save at early age by people who survived the Great Depression .Proud Democrat who unlike you heartless Repugs who had it easy kicking people who were not as lucky as you. I grew up in a Christian family that taught me to help those .less fortunate as I was. Pick up a history book sometime and see what people lived like before the we were cuddled by Government, when people were free.

  2. This post piqued my curiosity, so I did some research. As I expected, the personal savings rate has steadily declined since 1965. But, there has been a steady uptick in the savings rate the last decade or so. When you talk w/ young people, you hear them say they do not count on Social Security being here when they retire. They see the steady drain on SS by people claiming disabilities. Indeed, as our govt. likes to do, they have been robbing Peter to pay Paul. They take from the SS trust fund that hard working people pay into, to pay for people on the dole. So, I take a positive from this. Young people are preparing to take care of themselves. The big problem is the Baby Boomers who never understood you had to save and are not prepared to retire. I saved money from the time I started working @ age 12 in the family restaurant. My kids have saved since they started working @ age 14, Hopefully the millennials will take their cue from Gen exers, work hard, expect no handouts, save and invest. Do not depend upon the government to take care of you when you’re old. That’s a losing bet.

  3. ” it does appear that too few people have access to 401K plans provided through their employer.”

    If they are provided then WHY don’t they have access? Is this not a choice made by the employee? Why are they electing not to participate in the company-sponsored plan? Would they make a different choice if their financial future didn’t have a government (public funds) safety net to rely upon?

  4. rcocean, You misrepresent my views. I have said here many times there are people who are legitimately disabled and need a safety net to help them live. Regarding the physical labor. I have a neighbor who was a drywaller; tough physical work. I saw him work through pain, working side job as well as 40 hour weeks. He saved a lot. A VERY frugal man. They hardly ever went out to dinner. They took austere vacations. He put 3 kids through college. He is now retired @ age 64. He has always lived within his mean. Too many people do not understand the wants vs. needs thing and that’s why they don’t have a pot to piss in. My old man was a mechanic. He saved and put 4 kids through college. There are too many people w/ too many excuses for their failure to succeed. I have great empathy for those who deserve it. I have NONE for those who don’t. And, my professional skills give me the ability to know the difference.

  5. “I see the Democrat entitlement/resentment machine @ work here. It doesn’t work on people who like to work and achieve, but you might pick up some losers to join your cause.”

    Hate to break it to you, but not everyone can be a PI or run a small business or be a professional. Lots of people do physical labor and can’t do that as they get older. Lots of people work hard, but aren’t that bright, and don’t make enough to have self-funded retirement. Others, get sick, injured, whatever, and need the government help. The idea that everyone who doesn’t have a self-funded retirement was a lazy grasshopper is untrue. All this talk about socialism vs Capitalism in the US is absurd. The Government (state, local, Fed) is 40% of the GDP. We’ve had a mixed economy ever since WWII.

  6. I see the Democrat entitlement/resentment machine @ work here. It doesn’t work on people who like to work and achieve, but you might pick up some losers to join your cause. We have more than a few here.

  7. Beldar said…

    Next we will be building a think tank in Vietnam.

    We could do worse. The Vietnamese will be unfettered sooner than most folks think. I keep in touch with those RVN soldiers and sailors I knew long ago and they will reluctantly agree…although they hate the communists in power at present.

    Issac said …

    When you stop, you die.

    I guess that explains why I still consult, gratis, now many years out, with those who always gave me 100% as subordinates…one of whom I made sure got my job as Chief of her unit by forcing the bureaucrats to play my game not theirs. I got a morbid joy in that win.

    Today, it was about 4 hours of research to establish some facts beyond a doubt…based upon the harder and harder to see (as a civilian now) records and regulations of the US Army and DOD. Soon, if you haven’t got a CAC card, you won’t be able to see the rules and regulations. Not too sure that’s a good thing.

    I don’t mind, I owe it to those who gave me their all….and I don’t mind ignoring the Anti-Deficiency Act (you’re not supposed to work for free) in this case. I was paid well for my experiences, here and half a world away, and thus I can share them without pecuniary interest. That’s my defense if ever charged.

    I’d lose, but I’d still be right.

  8. That republican, Reagan, voodoo,,trickle-down economics of the past 35 years hasn’t quite trickled down much at all. But maybe if we do it another 35 years it will work!!

    1. Lloyd Blankfien – trickle down was a two parter. Cut taxes, cut spending. The taxes were cut, the spending was not.

  9. Nick Spinelli

    You know, there are better places to get an understanding of contemporary America than Captain America comics. “Here we honor hard work and achievement.” 3% of Americans own 54% of the nation’s assets. They don’t work harder than the guy that tars the road or fixes the roof. And the pigs that bankrupted the economy in the subprime mortgage scam walked away with millions, but I don’t consider that much of an achievement. Millions of manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas for cheaper labor, and most of the new jobs that are being created are low paying service sector jobs. Our Social Security ranks 26th in the world in the percentage of the persons working salary that gets paid out, and still it’s one of the most successful programs we have. I would suggest you bring a little intelligence and compassion to the discussion, but they’re not your long suites.

  10. There is always resentment in a capitalist society. If folks want socialism, they have many choices around the world. Here, we honor hard work and achievement. Greece is doing quite well w/ their entitlements. LOL. The rest of Europe is not far behind. Finally, many young people here want nothing to do w/ entitlement. They don’t want to pay into Social Security because they know it’s a loser.

  11. Nick Spinelli

    Actually Raymond is quite correct for the vast majority of the population.

    The majority view on work & saving money here are stuck in the stone ages. People attach great value to their work, so this discussion has much emotion with little rational thinking.

    As for the queer and always fascinating “entitlement” discussion: I think us young people are merely following our founding fathers and the rest of our ancestors’ path. They felt entitled to land which had an indigenous population (partially) because they claimed that they had a more civilized, sophisticated, and sustainable way of life (systems if you will). Our generation is applying these same principles to present-day. And actually, our entitlement odometer is near the bottom compared to other advanced nations. We aren’t entitled to health care like other developed nations. Say, if one is a student in France or Germany, they aren’t forced to pay (in many cases) large sums of money to attain a high-level education. These are two of many examples that could be listed.

    You say entitlement, I say intelligent discontent.

  12. Sounds like Ray hasn’t saved anything, and resents people who work hard and do save. I’m guessing he’s a Democrat.

  13. This is BS people barely have enough to live on to begin with. 401 are loaded up with fees that eat up are chunks of investments. People have lost huge amounts of assets during the recession that have never recovered and may never . Wages have been stagnant for 30 yrs ,pensions have disappeared. But according to those who have had it pretty good, like to blame those who have not, trumpeting their moral superiority. Give me a break people working to or three jobs just to try to survive don’t need classes on finance, we needs jobs that pay a livable wages like we had in the 40s,50,60s.

  14. Gigi, “Wants and needs” were lessons we taught our kids. They both started working and saving from age 14. They both have Roth IRA’s. They realize the Ponzi scheme of SS will not last for their retirement. They will be fine. If you like Albert Brooks I suggest his novel, 2040. It uses his great humor to discuss the upcoming crisis of the young v the old. He throws in the first Jewish prez[w/ mother issues of course], China owning our economy, and a major California earthquake. A good read.

  15. We see the entitlement mentality clearly in people here and in our personal lives. It is not just evidenced in monetary ways. We see people who are so self absorbed, so UNHAPPY, that they spend their day not sharing ideas, but spreading drama and anger. They manipulate, lie, do anything to try and be relevant. They do not have the self worth that is derived from working hard and achieving. I know homeless people who go through trash cans collecting bottles and cans for a nickel a piece who are happier than those on the dole. There is a woman, probably in her 80’s, who collects bottles from trash cans. She is an immigrant from Eastern Europe. She smiles, is happy, and says, “I can pay my bills doing this.” She is not homeless, but poor. We have gotten our neighbors to separate all the items she can use so she doesn’t have to rummage through the cans. A positive woman who is appreciative of life. God bless people like her. They help make up for the people who are the antithesis.

  16. It is not impossible to live on a small income, but American’s insist on having everything advertised on television as well as what their neighbors have.
    We saved during our working years and lived frugally. It was difficult to save while we raised our five children, but learned that it wasn’t impossible. In the long run it paid off and we are able to enjoy our retirement. No we aren’t living high society, we still have to watch our money, but it can be done. BTW our money is closer to the 1970’s model, but I’m very happy and blessed for what we’ve got.

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