America’s retirement crisis is the most gruesome wreck you’ll find on Main Street. Victims happen every day amid a financial bloodbath of too much debt, not enough savings, and stalled wages. We can’t look away — nor should we. More than ever, you need to prepare for a time when you’ll want or need to retire.
In 1974, Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the IRA was introduced. Four years later, the IRS added a paragraph to the tax code, which led to the first 401(k) in 1981. Today, IRA and 401(K) retirement accounts have replaced pensions, with a downside: They are do-it-yourself retirement plans. When faced with the decision to save for retirement, individuals often make the default or “no decision” choice. But participants must take action to save for a voluntary retirement plan, so the “no decision” choice is a decision not to save.
This is slowly changing as more employers automatically enroll workers into 401(k) plans. But if you need a good scare to jumpstart your retirement plan, we’ve assembled a list of 15 retirement statistics that will scare the crap out of you — and hopefully get you thinking about saving more.
1. Nothing saved for retirement
Your mama may have told you to be happy with what you’ve got, but that isn’t much if we’re talking about retirement savings. A recent survey from GoBankingRates.com finds more than half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, with one in three having nothing saved. The National Institute on Retirement Security estimates the nation’s retirement savings gap is between $6.8 and $14 trillion.
Exactly how much you need to save for retirement is an ongoing debate, but one thing is clear: You’ll need more than nothing.
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