The Retirement Savings Gap: Where Do You Rank?
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.
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.
- "6 Ways to Ensure You'll Have Enough Money In Retirement"
- "A Simple Way to Invest Your Retirement Savings"
- "25 Ways to Spend Less on Food"
- "How to Choose the Right Cord-Cutting TV Service"