Are you saving enough for those Golden Years?
If you believe most studies, the simple answer is probably no.
What’s more, according to a recent Ameriprise Financial analysis, there’s a significant “emotional disconnect” between the retirement goals of many Americans (say, a cushy lifestyle packed with travel) and their current retirement realities. News flash: It’s a gap of about $250,000 between what they have saved and what they’ll need to support said cushy lifestyle.
Intrigued by these findings, we decided to do a little research of our own. In a nationwide survey conducted by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint, we spoke to men and women in a variety of age ranges to find out how much they currently have squirreled away for retirement. Then we asked experts to weigh in on the results, as well as answer one very important question: Are we saving enough for retirement?
Carla Schwartz, 30, Policy Development Manager
Survey Says: Women between the ages of 25 and 32 admitted to having an average of $37,000 in their retirement accounts.
Carla Says: “I consider myself lucky: I’ve been saving responsibly for retirement for a long time. The amount of money that women in my age bracket have saved seems about right—and I’m actually a little above that, thanks to my company’s generous 401(k) matching policy. I was eligible to start participating in the plan after six months with the company, and I’ve been working there for nearly six years now. When it was time to decide whether to enroll, my colleague who handles our retirement plan said something along the lines of, ‘Officially, I can’t tell you what to do … but I’m not letting you say no.’ I’m so glad she did!”
The Expert Says: “Saving for retirement needs to be a priority, particularly for women,” says Lori Cathey, a director at TIAA-CREF. “Women typically need to save more for retirement because they live longer than men, on average, which means more in health and dependent care expenditures. Plus, women have fewer years to save due to fewer overall years in the workforce—although their participation in the workforce has increased, many continue to be the primary caregivers for children and other family members.”
For someone Carla’s age—who expects to retire around 65, with an income of about $40,000—$37,000 is a little low. Someone in this situation would be better prepared with savings in the mid-50s, Cathey explains.
Robert Woodill, 49, Food Services Manager
Survey Says: Men aged 25 to 54 admitted to having an average of $220,000 socked away for retirement.
Robert Says: “At my age, $220,000 would be very low. I’m a little behind in retirement—everybody took a hit a few years back—but I’m close to where I want to be right now. I currently have more than double this number saved. I still doubt that I’ll be able to retire around 60, like I’d originally planned, but I intend to increase what I’m putting away every year … and I have hope.”