The vast majority of Americans, 78 percent, say they’re “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about not having enough money for retirement, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study.
And for good reason: A shocking 21 percent of Americans have nothing at all saved for the future, and another 10 percent have less than $5,000 tucked away, the study finds.
That means about a third of Americans have only a few thousand dollars, or less, put away for their golden years.
Of course, some people are more prepared: A quarter report having $200,000 or more stashed away, while 16 percent have between $75,000 and $199,999. But overall, Northwestern Mutual found that Americans with retirement savings have an average of $84,821 saved, which is far from enough. Experts typically recommend trying to accumulate at least $1 million.
Meanwhile, a new survey from Bankrate finds that 13 percent of Americans are saving less for retirement than they were last year and offers insight into why much of the population is lagging behind. The most popular response survey participants gave for why they didn’t put more away in the past year was a drop, or no change, in income.
Young adulthood can be a thrilling time for those living on their own for the first time, balancing schoolwork and a job, and paying for necessities. But many don’t know how to manage all of this.
About a third of young adults (32%) were considered “financially precarious,” meaning they had few money management skills and little income stability, according to a University of Illinois study. Another 36% of participants were considered financially “at risk” because they had an unexpected drop in income within the year and had no savings to support themselves. They also didn’t have enough to pay for a $2,000 emergency.
Approximately 10% also said they struggled with money management, such as budgeting and credit-card usage, and would put their health in jeopardy by avoiding doctor visits and prescriptions because of costs. Only 22% were deemed financially stable, meaning they were saving at a mainstream bank and steered clear of financial services that charge higher interest and fees, such as payday lenders. They were more likely to be white males, employed and college-educated.
Four in 10 Americans are struggling to pay for their basic needs such as groceries or housing, a problem even middle-class households confront, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.