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Numbers Show that Americans aren’t Saving. How Bad is it Really?


A week ago I did a post on how the trend for retirement has been fading for quite some time. Today I take a look into concrete numbers of what this downward trend is actually doing to retitement confidence and americans retirement accounts. Most of the information comes from the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey. After looking at the data here are some of my initial thoughts.

Americans are not thinking of what sort of retirement they want or even if they want a retirement at all.  Retirement isn't important at least not as much as it should be. Heck even some people are assuiming that Social Security is their retirement.  Just as an FYI to everyone Social Security, pensions, and private savings have gone down in the past few years.

The realities are that we will be living longer, paying more and getting less with Social Security. Pensions as we know have been going away for some time. If you happen to be one of the lucky to have one your benefits they come with are reducing.

One of the most interesting things to come out of this article is the report on savings. Out of all workers (regardless of age) 57 report having less than $25,000 in houshehold savings and investments (excluding their home and pesion benefits). Stepping into this a bit deeper, American households are so hard up for money that only half of households could come up with $2,000 in cash if an unexpected need arose in the next month. Ouch! That really makes me worried. Don't most of us have troubles every now and again? I know for me there are times where I have had to come up with a couple thousand dollars for repairs on my home or car repair. Regardless of the reason I think most of us have to do this every now and again. The fact that most of us won't be able to pay for these types of things is troubling. I know every situation is different but we must try and do whatever we can to make sure our best interest and our families best interest is taken care of.  We must save if at all possible!

Even though I say we must save, saving has gone down from 75% in 2009 to 66% in 2013. With us living longer, in fact, a male who is reaching retirement age in 2013 is expected to live to 85, and a women to 87. 

What does this all mean? It is hard to say exactly but a really good guess is that there will be a retirement crisis. If we were to think logically about all those 50 and 60 year olds that will be retiring within the next 10-20 years one thing is certain, most of them do not have enough money and will run out of money.

A few thoughts come to my mind as I think of these statistics and issues. First, How is my own retirement? Will my wife and I be able to live off of our retirement? Do I need to do anything different now to make sure that my retirement is what I want and need it to be? I hope you reading this article can apply these questions to your own retirement. I hope you can answer them honestly and that you can do what you need to do to make sure your retirement is a priority. Do what you need to do to get the retirement you want and at least do what you need to do to get the retirement you need to survive. 

If you are wanting to take control of your retirement accounts I would suggest looking into a self directed IRA with checkbook control also known as a checkbook IRA. This allows you to invest in things you want to invest in. Some of the types of investments you that are available through a checkbook IRA are real estate, gold or even your own business.

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