The Retirement Savings Gap: Where Do You Rank?

How to Invest Your Retirement Savings

By Karla Bowsher

Good news: 22 percent of American workers are "very confident" about having enough money to retire comfortably. That's up from 18 percent last year, and an increase from a record low of 13 percent during the recession.

The numbers come from the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, which the nonprofit says is the country's longest-running survey of its kind.

Among respondents who have a retirement plan, the percentage of people who are very confident they'll have enough cash to retire comfortably has doubled since 2013 -- from 14 percent to 28 percent. Among respondents who lack a plan, that percentage is "statistically unchanged," according to EBRI -- 10 percent in 2013, 12 percent in 2015.

How Much Do They Have Saved? How About You?

Now the bad news: 57 percent report their savings and investments total less than $25,000, excluding the value of their primary home and any employee benefit plans. EBRI's savings breakdown:
  • Less than $1,000: 28 percent.
  • $1,000 to $9,999: 17 percent.
  • $10,000 to $24,999: 12 percent.
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 9 percent.
  • $50,000 to $99,999: 10 percent.
  • $100,000 to $249,999: 10 percent.
  • $250,000 or more: 14 percent.
Part of the reason Americans might find themselves short on retirement savings is because they unexpectedly retire sooner than planned, mostly due to health problems or disability.

Start by Saving $25 More a Week

Some workers choose to shortchange their retirement savings. About two-thirds admit that it's possible for them to save $25 more per week than they currently do. When asked where they could cut costs, respondents offered the following areas:
  • Eating out or takeout food: 46 percent.
  • Soft drinks or snacks from vending machines: 13 percent.
  • Movies, videos, DVDs or streaming: 12 percent.
  • Coffee from specialty shops: 11 percent.
  • Lottery tickets: 8 percent.
Lucas Vandermillen, vice president of retirement services for Principal Financial Group, one of the EBRI survey sponsors, told CNN Money that an extra $25 saved each week "would make a huge difference in their retirement savings, especially for a young worker." If you're ready to save more, Money Talks News can help. Start with these articles: Like this story? Share it with your friends on Facebook. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.
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