The Upside of Minimal Retirement Savings

retirement savingsAmericans are more downbeat than ever about their prospects for retirement, but at least they’re starting to realize what bad financial shape they’re in.

That’s the upshot from a survey released last week about the retirement-readiness of American workers.

As have a seemingly endless number of surveys before it, the poll by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found workers growing increasingly doubtful about their ability to finance comfortable retirements.

The percentage of workers who say they are “not at all comfortable” about their retirement outlook jumped to 27 percent from 22 percent a year ago. Only 13 percent are “very confident.” Both were the worst numbers in the poll’s 21-year history.

About six in 10 workers say they’re stashing away money for retirement, but 56 percent of those have accumulated less than $25,000, excluding their homes and pensions.

The silver lining, said Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director, is that workers sense their situations becoming so dire that they might be spurred into action.

“To me, these are positive findings: People are increasingly recognizing the level of savings realistically needed for a comfortable retirement,” VanDerhei said. “People’s expectations need to come closer to reality so they will save more and delay retirement until it is financially feasible.”

Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.