Lots of us have almost nothing saved for retirement

April 21, 2015, 3:01 PM UTC
Photograph by BSIP UIG — Getty Images

Haven’t saved enough for your golden years? You’re not alone.

A new survey has found that nearly one-third of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments, USA Today reports.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute conducted a telephone survey of 1,003 workers and 1,001 retires. Twenty-eight percent of workers said they have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, the paper said, while 57% told the organization they have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. According to the article, those figures are “not counting their primary residence, or defined benefits plans, such as traditional pensions.”

The article continued:

Often people want to continue working until later in life, but the survey found that 50% of retirees left the workforce earlier than planned, and of those, 60% left because of health or disability problems and 27% because changes in their company such as downsizing or closure.

Interestingly, there’s a mismatch in expectations among current workers and the reality of retirees’ lives day-to-day, the survey found: “In fact, 67% of workers say they expect to work for pay during their retirement years, but only 23% of retirees report they have ever worked for pay in retirement,” the USA Today report said.
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“People keep saying, ‘I’m not saving so I’ll plan on retiring much later,’ but often times for reasons they can’t control, people are not able to retire as late as they want,” Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s research director, told the newspaper. People cited cost of living as a prime reason for not saving more for retirement. Debt, too, was an issue among the survey’s respondents, with 51% of current workers and 31% of retirees saying their mortgage, credit card, and car loans payments are too high.

“There is a huge association between debt and retirement confidence,” VanDerhei told USA Today.