Saving for retirement is not an area of financial strength for Americans. Too often, meeting the financial demands do Women Make Less Money Than Men today means delaying, diminishing or simply never starting to save for tomorrow. Although all of these things can put a strain on our budgets, they don’t necessarily make it impossible to save for retirement. These survey findings also provide a helpful benchmark against which readers can compare their own retirement savings balances and progress. By your best estimate, how much money do you have saved for retirement?
Whether due to various economic factors or not correctly prioritizing finances, many people are not on track to have enough money to cover their expenses during retirement. One-third of Americans report they have no retirement savings. This lack of savings indicates that just getting started on retirement planning is a significant obstacle for many people. Americans’ retirement savings balances are in the top bracket. Women More Likely Than Men to Have No or Little Retirement Savings The gap between men’s and women’s retirement savings is cause for concern for anyone planning for retirement. 2015 Gender Pay Gap in Financial Wellness report from financial education company Financial Finesse. One reason women fall behind is the gender pay gap. 79 for every dollar men earned in full-time positions.
Families trying to prepare for retirement need to factor such deficits into their financial plans. Women’s retirement savings needs are also greater than men’s. Women are also more likely to live longer, increasing their chances of outliving retirement funds. To make up for anemic earnings and plan for their higher retirement costs, women need to be proactive and save aggressively. Retirement Savings Correlate Closely to Age Retirement savings are closely tied to savers’ stages of life. For young people just starting their careers, simply saving at all could be a sufficient goal, while those nearing retirement will likely want to have at least a few hundred thousands of dollars in their retirement accounts. Americans’ savings differ by life stage.
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300,000 or more in retirement accounts and 4. 6 times more likely than millennials to have saved this amount. 3 of 5 Millennials Have Started a Retirement Fund As the youngest group surveyed, millennials are the least likely to have substantial retirement savings. Overall, fewer millennials are saving for retirement than should be, but many millennials’ retirement savings are actually on track, especially among the those ages 25 to 34. For this group, saving now and saving regularly will make all the difference. Thanks to the power of compounding, if you start regularly setting aside even small amounts as soon as you start working, you could easily have enough for a comfortable retirement. 50,000 or more in retirement accounts.
300K Saved As respondents get older, the gap between the savers and the save-nots widens. About 3 in 10 of respondents age 55 and over have no retirement savings. 50,000, an amount that is insufficient for people nearing retirement age. 55 and over have balances far behind typical retirement fund benchmarks for their age group. Some of those 55 and over who lack savings might not need them, Huddleston pointed out. Americans who will get a pension and will benefit from having an employer who set aside retirement funds for them. More likely, however, those without retirement savings couldn’t or didn’t make saving for retirement a financial priority.
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A little less than half of people ages 18 to 24 are on track simply by having started a retirement fund. Younger people are in the best position to recover if they’ve fallen behind because they have more time to use compound interest to their advantage. For those age 40 and over, however, the picture is bleaker: Among those in their 40s and 50s, four in five savers have balances that fall behind the benchmarks for their age groups, which means only about 20 percent are on track for retirement. Among those 60 and over, about a quarter have sufficient retirement savings, but the other 74 percent are still behind. How to Catch Up If You’re Behind on Retirement Savings With less time to save as each year passes, these older age groups need to reevaluate their financial priorities. The large majority of Americans age 40 and over who are behind on retirement savings can potentially catch up or compensate for their anemic retirement accounts by making changes to their savings plans now.
Stick to a Routine The first step is to start saving regularly. Consistent savings, even in just small amounts, is the best way to ensure a retirement fund is growing. If money is put into high-yield accounts or invested wisely, compound interest on small savings can help produce a sizable nest egg. Prioritize Changes That Have Long-Term Benefits Upping retirement savings contributions is also necessary to catch up. 18,000 annual 401k contribution limit, according to the IRS. Those nearing retirement can also help prepare for retirement by reducing spending and paying down debt, which will trim monthly expenses and enable them to stretch their savings further once they retire.
Save Like You’ll Retire Tomorrow Lastly, those nearing retirement might need to adjust their expectations, Huddleston said. Many Americans do not recognize retirement savings should be an urgent priority in their lives, according to Bonner. However, even though retirement seems far away to many people, and they think that there is still plenty of time to begin saving, Americans must make their future selves a priority and take all necessary steps to set themselves up for a comfortable financial future. People who view retirement as something that is just around the corner can help themselves stay on top of their retirement contributions so that they don’t fall behind. By keeping retirement at the top of the financial priority list, it can become less of a far-off dream and more of a soon-to-be reality.
Responses were collected through three separate Google Consumer Surveys conducted simultaneously Jan. 18 to 34, which collected 1,502 responses with a 2. 35 to 54, which collected 1,500 responses with a 1. 55 and over, which collected 1,504 responses with a 4.
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P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions. Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of several books, including The War Against Boys. Much of what we hear about the plight of American women is false.