26 July 2017

Workers Savings Too Little To Retire

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Source: Wall Street Journal | Date: March 19, 2013

Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement.

New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money last.

Fifty-seven percent of U.S. workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments excluding their homes, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Only 49% reported having so little money saved in 2008.

The survey also found that 28% of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably—the highest level in the study's 23-year history.

The same forces are weighing on corporate balance sheets. Based on another recent report, the Society of Actuaries said that rising life expectancies could add as much as $97 billion to corporate pension liabilities in coming years, an increase of up to 5%.

While Americans are living longer, the extended life spans will make it tougher for workers trying to stretch retirement savings and put additional strains on pension plans.

Scott Ghelfi, 49 years old, a small-business owner in Falmouth, Mass., and his wife own two candy stores and a children's clothing shop. He said they didn't make their normal $24,000 contribution to their retirement plan two years ago because they couldn't afford to take the money out of the businesses.

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