Although many individuals work well into what was once typical retirement age, and some, simply, can never envision themselves without a job, the inevitability of one day not having a paycheck should be a motivating factor for the rest of us to ensure we have the financial means to enjoy, or at least survive, our golden years. That, however, is not the case for a surprising number of Americans.
According to a recent study by the National Institute for Retirement Security, the following three stats paint a bleak picture:
- When working-age households (not individuals) are considered, 45%, or approximately 38 million, do not own any retirement account assets, whether in an employer-sponsored 401(k) type plan or an IRA.
- When all households are included (not just households with retirement accounts,) the median retirement account balance is $3,000 for all working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households.
- The collective retirement savings gap among working households age 25-64 ranges from $6.8 to $14 trillion, depending on the financial measure. When retirement accounts are considered alone, 92% of working households fail to meet targets. When retirement plus defined benefit programs are considered, 90% fall short. If total assets alone are considered, the number that fall short is 84%, and if net worth is the measuring standard, 65% fall short.
And although Social Security is available for the vast majority of American workers, the next three statistics do little to boost confidence in that historic program:
- 21% of married couples and 44% of seniors who are single rely on Social Security for 90% of their income, and the average monthly benefit payment is around $1400.
- According to a survey by the Gallup Poll, 57% of seniors depend on Social Security for the majority of their income.
- Some commentators are predicting benefits will exceed the programs costs in 2020, and the Social Security trust fund will run out of money in 2035, unless drastic measures are taken.
- Savings for retirement need not be painful or come at the cost of sacrifice during working years. For example, using a compound interest calculator to project the numbers, if you were to start saving at age 30, put just $500 a month in an account that compounds annually, earn an average of 7% and do that for 37 years, the account balance would be over $950,000.
Retirement planning need not be an all or nothing proposition. Yes, it’s better to start early, remain disciplined and have a plan that will work for the long term, but any individual, at any age will benefit from any contribution to a retirement account. Spinnaker Investment Group is here to help investors with all of their investment needs.
The information contained herein is based on internal research derived from various sources and does not purport to be statements of all material facts relating to the securities mentioned. The information contained herein, while not guaranteed as to the accuracy or completeness, has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.