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Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

Who's not meeting their retirement saving goals?

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Enough people just aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Maybe that’s not exactly news, but the latest survey from America Saves Week indicates that workers have a long way to go in meeting retirement goals — and while they’re making savings progress on other fronts, when it comes to retirement, not so much.

Asked whether they were “saving enough for a retirement in which you will have a comfortable standard of living,” only 52 percent said yes.

That’s actually continuing a downward trend — it’s three points lower than last year’s 55 percent, and down six points from 2008’s 58 percent.

And women are doing worse at retirement saving than men: 57 percent of the guys said they were saving enough for a comfortable retirement, while just 47 percent of women said that.

Why aren’t they saving enough?

Among non-retired respondents, 27 percent cited high day-to-day expenses; another 25 percent put the blame on debt and related expenses, and half of that latter group (12 percent) pointed toward education expenses and debt.

In fact, 22 percent of respondents under 45 years old who were not unemployed said that education expenses and debt were responsible for their not saving more.

Among those over 45 years old who were not unemployed, the biggest stumbling block after day-to-day expenses, with 16 percent mentioning it, was mortgage or housing expenses.

But they’d all like to do better.

Eighty-two percent said they’d contribute more than three percent when asked what was the highest percentage of their salary they’d contribute to a plan offered by their employers with auto escalation.

Forty percent said they’d put in 10 percent or more. Asked what they would do if their employer did not offer a retirement plan and they were automatically enrolled in an IRA administered by their state government with a default annual contribution of three percent, roughly equal percentages said they would contribute less than three percent (32 percent), three percent (31 percent), and more than three percent (28 percent).

Oh, and that progress in some areas?

Forty percent of respondents said they were making good or excellent progress in “meeting their savings needs.”

And overall, answers indicated “at least modest” progress for about two thirds of respondents: 70 percent reported at least some progress in meeting savings needs, 66 percent reported saving at least some of their income and 63 percent reported “sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit.”

See also:

Retirement crisis? What retirement crisis?

IRI: Retirement savings a top concern for most women

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