The Shockingly Low Amount of Retirement Savings per American

Average Retirement Savings per American

According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute’s 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey, 54% of workers in the U.S. have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments, outside of their home value and a rare pension plan.

Here are what the average retirement savings for Americans looks like when you break it down by age:

average retirement savings

It’s not looking good for any age group really, but particularly for millennials.

With pension plans being almost extinct, saving for your own retirement is increasingly important. The government is starting to realize that if it doesn’t begin encouraging savings now, the expense of completely supporting tens of millions of retirees who have zero retirement savings will be catastrophic for the country. Now is the time for action.

These statistics get me absolutely fired up! My employer has a 401K match of 50% of my contributions up to the IRS maximum 401K contribution. That is an incredible benefit that I would never take for granted. However, a number of my colleagues don’t take advantage of this free cash while having no home, no kids, and no major expenses. If they aren’t taking advantage of this benefit, it’s easy to see why workers who aren’t getting a nice match are not saving at all. It kind of makes me sick on behalf of their future self looking back with regret.

I have the feeling that a good many of you are exceptions to these statistics. But why? How are most Americans not getting the message?

Retirement Savings Discussion:

  • How much have you saved for retirement and what is your age?
  • Why have you decided to save?
  • If you could tell peers of yours why they should start saving, what would you say?

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