It is said that numbers don’t lie, and when it comes to retirement planning, the recent numbers are downright distressing with only 13% of people saying they feel confident they can afford a comfortable retirement. This is according to a recent Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
When you consider the findings of another recent survey, those results aren’t surprising. According to a nationwide survey conducted by TheStreet’s MainStreet.com, nearly 70% of Millennials (the so-called Generation Y) have taken no steps yet to save for retirement.
Clearly a lot of Americans will have a lot of catching up to do as they get closer to retirement age, and that is making the role of the retirement planner more challenging than ever. And as both of these surveys reveal, the recent economic downturn played a significant role in setting people back.
For many people there is not a lot of disposable income right now, according to Ross Kenneth Urken, personal finance editor at TheStreet.
“Many people feel they can’t afford to plan ahead 30 years; it is a matter of survival of the immediate,” Urken said. But the unfortunate irony is that no one can afford not to plan for retirement. Social Security benefits alone just don’t cut it.
The even greater irony is that TheStreet survey reveals that the same Millenials that are taking no steps to prepare for retirement also have little confidence that Social Security will even be there for them. Clearly, the future is just not on their minds.
Urken said he wasn’t really surprised at TheStreet’s survey results. After all, thoughts about retirement are “basically a generational view,” he said. Driving interest in retirement planning for the typical individual is employment picture, marriage, and then children.
Also generational are views on what government assistance the typical American can count on in retirement, according to Urken. “When we asked if they thought they would be able to collect Social Security, 83% of Boomers said yes, while 54% of Millenials said yes,” he said.
But the survey numbers that most impress Urken are the contrasting fact that “two in three Millenials expect to retire at age 65, but 70% have taken no steps to do so.”