5 Facts That Show A Coming Retirement Crisis

According to a recent poll, 86 percent of Americans are worried about their retirement savings, and if the facts are any indication, they have a right to be.

Analysts, experts, and prospective retirees all agree that there is an imminent retirement crisis looming. But, what has them so worried?

Below are five facts that warn of the coming retirement crisis.

1. Nearly one-third of non-retired Americans (18-59) have no retirement savings or pension

That’s about 100 million Americans with no retirement savings.

Even for a significant portion of people ages 55-64–a demographic who should have around $1 million saved–retirement savings are far from adequate.

According to The Center For American Progress, 19 percent, or almost one in five, people ages 55-64 said they had no savings or pension for retirement.

2. Many Americans don’t have access to retirement plans through their workplace

In the private sector, only 65 percent of Americans had access to retirement plans through their workplace in 2014, and only 48 percent participated in one.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), just 53 percent of Americans participated in some form of retirement plan–a percentage which is a product of both lack of access and inability to afford savings.

3. Many baby boomers close to retirement age are far from prepared

According to data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, in 2013 the median amount that households ages 55-64 had saved was about $14,000–a small percentage of what it actually costs to retire.

Since social security benefits currently average about $16,000 annually for a two-person household, many seniors could soon be living in poverty.

Even when excluding those who had zero savings, the median for the same demographic was only about $100,000.

4. Households are failing to keep up with the asset needs necessary for retirement

Put simply, Americans wealth has failed to keep up with the times. While experts say people’s assets should increase relative to what they were decades ago, they have done the opposite.

According to data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, however, over the past two decades, wealth to income ratios have either lowered or remained stagnant for households across all age groups.

5. Retirement needs have increased over time

Working in unison with all of the other adverse economic factors which have contributed to a shortage of retirement savings is the fact that retirement needs haven’t decreased, but expanded.

According to Alicia Munnell of the Center for Retirement Research (pdf) at Boston College, factors like longer life expectancy, higher age to receive full social security benefits, and increased healthcare costs, have all contributed to a greater need for greater retirement savings.

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