CBS Reports We Have a Way to Go in Financially Preparing for Retirement
In a special report, Eye on America: Retirement, CBS News is exploring the changing nature of retirement and how to prepare for the future.
Here are some of the highlights from their first installment.
Roughly half of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, Federal Reserve data show. Even Americans who work diligently to prepare for their later years are falling behind. Only 18 percent of U.S. workers say they are very confident of having enough money to live comfortably during their retirement years.
High unemployment, stagnant income and spiraling health care costs, eroding labor protections and rising income inequality all contribute. A growing segment of the U.S. population could see their living standards erode as their retirement savings run dry.
As of 2010, only 51 percent of private-sector workers had access to a retirement plan at work. Four of 10 Americans ages 55 to 64 have no money put away for retirement. For those who do, the median balance is $120,000. That amounts to income of only $400 a month.
Overall, the median retirement account balance for all working-age households in the U.S. is $3,000, and $12,000 for near-retirement households, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security.
Most experts say that to maintain their standard of living in retirement, a typical family needs to replace 75 percent to 85 percent of their pre-retirement income. Yet wages for nearly all Americans have been stagnant for more than 30 years.
Health problems further drain retirement assets and can make it hard for seniors to extend their working lives, the standard advice these days for retirees with inadequate savings.
On a positive note, as women have entered the workforce en masse, their earnings have lifted family incomes. It also has allowed more women to accrue Social Security benefits and acquire 401(k) accounts of their own. Meanwhile, people with pensions may be financially secure in retirement even without personal savings.
Source; CBS News
Tags: paying for retirement, saving for retirement