61% of households are unprepared for retirement


The Center for Retirement Research released a study today suggesting that most Americans will be unable to maintain their standard of living after they retire. 61% of American households are "at risk", meaning that their savings, social security and pension benefits fall at least 10% short of the amount they will need to support their current standard of living in retirement.

According to the Center For Retirement Research, many workers simply aren't saving enough money and are underestimating the amount they will need for their retirement, especially when it comes to health care costs.

But I think that the concern may be premature: the assumption behind concerns about the coming crop of retirees stems for a belief that the nature and definition of retirement will remain unchanged. But many of the baby boomers I know have no intention of completely retiring, and instead plan to continue to work part-time, especially in areas that have a socially conscious component. Working later into life can do a lot to mitigate inadequate savings. I think this may be an emerging trend for future generations, with technological advances allowing people to maintain an active lifestyle later in life.

But still: 30% of workers don't sign up for their 401(k) plans. That's a recipe for disaster, but I'm not sure what can be done about it. If people would rather blow money on SUVs and flat screen TVs than save for retirement, what is there to say?

Originally published