Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pathetic state of the retirees in this country

Found this in my personal finance blogs:

"About 65% of people age 55 and older have less than $100,000 in retirement savings; just 37% have saved less than $25,000, while around one-third have less than $10,000, according to Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey."

WTF?  Is this scary to anyone else?  Seriously?  Why do most people have next to nothing saved in retirement?  Why isn't this more of a priority for our nation?  I understand that this does not account for primary residences or defined benefits (pension, etc.), but come on!  $10K?  (I truly wish this survey included defined benefit plans and overall net worth, because it would paint much more of a complete picture.)  What a bleak future for retirees.

My take is that I don't understand why companies don't employ an opt-out plan for 401(k) savings.  Essentially, part of the employee's benefits package assumes you set aside income into this tax-deferred savings account, rather than having the employee actively filling out paper work to start the 401(k) plan.  It's a simple change and I think it would automatically encourage new employees to utilize the system.  It's much easier to passively be enrolled than it is to expect the employee to actively seek to be enrolled; most people are lazy and don't care.

Rant over.


  1. I am not sure its much different up here in Canada and thats sad

  2. geez 10k is a lot of money, i could live forever and not go broke on that, especially now that im older and wiser than when i last had it. also i would think at least 30% of people have $0 in retirement savings (im referring to people in poverty on food stamps)

    P.s. i finally got u added to my blogroll so maybe now u can get new readers. just realized u wasnt on there. u shouldve told me.

  3. @Tony - Thanks for the blogroll addition. Not quite sure why I wasn't on there, but appreciate you double checking. For my blog, I'm not all that concerned with driving new readership. I keep this blog as a sorta "open" diary to the world. It's nice to look and see my thought process from a few years back vs. the current day. It serves as a reminder to not forget from where I came.

    While I agree that $10k is a lot of money, it is not nearly enough to live off without continually working. If you retire with $10k and stop working, you will maybe get through 1 year of living expenses... Your goals should be *MUCH* higher than having $10k in your pocket or roll. For you, Tony, your goal should be around $250k or so. You could retire and carefully manage your money. You have a lot of work ahead of you.


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