Sparta Report

65% of Americans Have Saved Nothing for Retirement

I’m surprised the number isn’t higher:

Despite a low unemployment rate and increasing wage growth, Americans still aren’t saving much. That’s according to a new survey from Bankrate.com, which found that 20 percent of Americans don’t save any of their annual income at all and even those who do save aren’t putting away a lot.

Only 16 percent of survey respondents say that they save more than 15 percent of what they make, which is what experts generally recommend. A quarter of respondents report saving between 6 and 10 percent of their income and 21 percent say they sock away 5 percent or less.

At this rate, many people could be setting themselves up to fall short in retirement, Bankrate warns.

“With a steady, significant share of the working population saving nothing or relatively little, it’s virtually guaranteed that they’ll be unable to afford a modest emergency expense or finance retirement,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “That amounts to a financial fail.”

The economy might be prospering now, but that won’t last forever: “The party has to stop sometime, and when it does, employers will lay off workers,” the study says.

What’s keeping Americans from saving? “Expenses” was the No. 1 answer of 39 percent of respondents. Another 16 percent say they don’t have a “good enough job” to be able to save, which presumably means they aren’t earning enough.

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