[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/09/art.retirement.0309.cf.gi.jpg caption =" What does it mean that 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings for retirement?"]From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
They're supposed to be the golden years, but retirement is becoming more and more difficult for millions of Americans.
A new survey shows that the percentage of workers with virtually no retirement savings grew for the third year in a row.
Forty-three percent of those surveyed say they have less than ten thousand dollars saved for retirement, excluding the value of homes and pension plans.
The annual Retirement Confidence Survey also finds that 27 percent of workers have less than one thousand dollars in retirement savings.
One thousand dollars.
It's a glaring picture of the decline in our quality of life. Only 16 percent of Americans say they're confident they can save enough for a comfortable retirement - that's the second lowest percentage in the 20-year history of the poll.
Job losses and mortgage problems are partly to blame here - but not entirely. Some people weren't saving even when the economy was stronger. And, a lot of people don't want to think about retirement - until it's too late.
For many Americans, the new reality is working longer and retiring later in life. Financial planners say that retirement savings - including Social Security and pension - should provide about 80 percent of your pre-retirement income. For most people – that means they should be saving close to 10 percent of their salary.
But with millions unemployed, rising care health costs and decreasing home values - among other things - saving that much just isn't possible.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings for retirement?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, For people living day to day, paycheck to paycheck, saving for retirement is next to impossible. I am one of those 43 percent and the way I see it, I'm grateful that I'm able to support my kids, give them a nice home, nutritious meals and send them to school in clean clothes. Saving for retirement simply has to wait until either I have fewer expenses or more income.
Zach from Washington says:
It’s not a question of not being able to save – it’s a question of not wanting to. If you are of retirement age right now and aren't close to your goals that’s your fault for not saving over a lifetime of working. It’s not a representation of the economic climate.
Mike from Landisville, Pennsylvania says:
As a former employee benefits administrator who managed pension plans, I am not surprised. I've seen people borrow from their pension plan and take out "loans" like the pension plan is their piggy bank. They use the money to buy sports cars, sofas, etc. It just goes with Americans' short-term focus on everything we do.
J. from Portland, Oregon says:
It just means that even though the official retirement age will be 60-something (depending on when you were born), the actual retirement age will be much later. So in effect we will have gone back to the days where the vast majority of people worked until they died, and only the lucky few ever retired. And usually didn't live long after that.
Approaching retirement myself, my observation is that most people I know never learned the difference between "what you need" and "what you want". Knowing the difference, and limiting my spending over my adult life, I am ready and anxious to get to it.
Ron from Copenhagen says:
It means something is very, very wrong with the system, unless you are a senator or congressman. Then you are safe.