Where are Americans headed if more than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings?
December 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Where are Americans headed if more than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Thinking of retiring? Think again.

A new survey shows 56% of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings.

The survey by "the employee benefit research institute" also finds that nearly 30% of workers are "not at all" confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement. That's a record high.

Researchers point out that many people don't even know how much they need to save for retirement.

It's estimated a 65-year-old retiree needs $1.1 million dollars in savings to draw $50,000 a year.

That assumes 3% inflation and a 5% annual return on investments.

Financial advisers tell USA Today they're seeing more workers and new retirees with no savings and no plan to get out of debt.

They point to several factors jeopardizing retirement today, including:

  • The stock market, which wiped out many people's savings in the last decade.
  • The decline of the housing market and erosion of the value of most people's most valuable asset.
  • Baby Boomers procrastinating when it comes to saving or counting on Social Security for retirement.
  • People putting retirement last... after paying down debt, paying for their children's college, etc.
  • And high unemployment.

Sadly, there aren't many options as you near retirement age and don't have money stashed away.

You can either work longer - which millions of Americans are planning to do - save more or get a higher return on your investments. Or cut your costs.

So much for the golden years.

Here's my question to you: Where are Americans headed if more than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Economy
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Conor in Chicago

    Well when you have wages stagnant for 30 years and the price of everything rising in that same time period you should be surprised we aren't talking about ALL US workers. It's called Class Warfare by most of us. The 1% call it "an unfettered free market".

    December 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  2. Ivan

    A four letter word beginning with the letter H. Jack, need to buy a vowel?

    December 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Russ in PA

    So who do we blame for this one? Our welfare society that has taught people to depend more on government than on themselves? Or the Federal Reserve that has made it possible for both the government and people to spend money as if it costs nothing?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    December 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  4. Donna Scudder

    America is headed exactly where the GOP wants it to go, down the tubes. Low wages, no savings, high priced food, no job opportunities until we all cry UNCLE and take $3.00 minimum wage and act thankful. Bread lines, living in tents and warming our hands over outdoor fires, Bring it on, GOP.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Karl in Flint

    The untaxed wealthy don't have much more money to wring out of the middle-class American worker. We are headed to total poverty and a third world existence.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: I am surprised 1/2 have savings acounnts or some other type account. Most of the country still have their wealth tied up in their homes or condoes. The return on savings is small, and the interest rate on 5 year CD's is on 2 &1/2%. Insurance programs and policies pay higher return on your money than do banks. As a nation Americans do not enough money in savings or other type of accounts. Retirement accounts like 401K should not be counted as saving account due to their purpose of funding a monthly payment upon retiring. We need to save more, but where is the question.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  7. J. Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Jack: Most people will be headed straight to the poor house. I'm already there. Everything I purchase on a weekly basis (such as gum, toothpaste, and other necessities), costs more each time I go to the store. I blame the GOP and the 1% for this sad state of affairs! The business world is taking advantage of consumers!

    December 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  8. Aurelia

    Jack they are headed for the poor house in their automobile.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  9. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    We are already there – a second great Depression – if you are talking about personal savings. If you are talking about retirement savings and it is young people who don't have much set aside, I am not worried, because they make that up with time. If older workers don't have that much, it says that it is good that horse meat will again be processed in the U.S. More seriously, unless we can bring back defined benefit plans, it says that people will be more reliant on Social Security and help from their kids in retirement and will demand better benefits.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Kevin in CA

    Well, they are headed toward being competitive with the 80 cents per hour Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian workers. After all, that's what counts ... at least until a revolt begins.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  11. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    They are headed toward a mere subsistence existence during their retirement years, if they ever do retire. This is especially true if the Republicans get the regulationless, tax free, free wheeling market economy that benefits only the 1 percenters.

    But if the economy ever does get turned around and the middle class gets another chance at the American Dream let's hope they have learned their lessons about living high on the credit card hog and start responsible saving, living within their means, and stop thinking everything they see in a television commercial is something they need.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Richard Texas

    It is hard to answer this question Jack because each person has their own problems and issues both financially and emotionally. People in America live at or just beyond their means year round. If you doubt that then look at the number of credit card companies and the business they are doing. If everyone had money to spend then those credit card companies would be out of business. Those not living from pay check to pay check are unemployed.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Savings are a contributor to our problems. Economists world wide are calling for growth and stimulus. Lack of consumer confidence has us deferring purchases – starving the market – producing job lay offs – killing consumer confidence.

    "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." (FDR)

    December 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    it means jack, that they are going to hell, because the rich have heaven all booked.

    tom, forest hills, pa

    December 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  15. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    It means that the 14,000,000 unemployed have been living on their savings and credit for the last three years. It means that families with one working spouse aren't able to save anything since the other spouse lost their job. It means that the Occupy movement will gain momentum as people's savings and credit run out. For example, I liquidated my IRA to survive as I continue to look for work. Next year I will be more desperate when I run out of money.

    Alex the unemployed Veteran

    December 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  16. Ken in California

    Quote: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    Any government, like any family can for a year spend a little more that it earns. But you and I know a continuation of that means the poorhouse.
    Jack, It appears half of America’s workers have a case of monkey see, monkey do.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    You are giving us way too much credit, Jack. How about most Americans having less than ONE thousand dollars left in savings? And, it says that the American dream is in real danger of becoming the American nightmare.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Jk from Minnesota

    We're headed and have nearly arrived at third world country status, where all the wealth and power resides in 1% of the population and the heck with the rest of the country. It's very disgusting to see how far the moral fiber of this country has diminished. Apparently the only OK distribution of wealth( to the GOP Party, anyway) is upward – and they've managed to do a great job of it the past 30 plus years; it's got to be corrected soon. Any elected official that has signed Grover's no tax pledge needs to be voted out of office as soon as it is possible.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  19. Jim, Denver CO

    The Poor House once we retire. We are starting to become a society where the elderly will need to live with their children. Only the super rich will be able to afford a Retirement home or have employed in-home caretakers. The golden years are being sucked out of the middle class by the 1%.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  20. s in fl

    Half still have $25,000.00? Heads should roll in Corporate America. Talk about incompetence.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    I can't ever remember when more than half of workers weren't in that savings situation. At least not for the past 40 yrs.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  22. phil, georgia

    Just like president Obama said, this is make or break time because if republicans win the white house they are really going to try to stick it to Americans just as they have done in Wisconsin and all recent other republican districts. Public workers will have few rights and be working for peanuts while wall street and the rich continue to hoard illegal money.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  23. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, History always repeats itself. The last time more than half of all Americans were living hand-to-mouth while America’s wealth went into the “pockets” (to use Romney’s words) of aristocratic shareholders worldwide of an untaxed and deregulated global corporation, the tea cargo of that corporation was dumped into Boston Harbor. Where are Americans headed? Hint; it will be no tea party!

    December 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  24. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    A lot of elderly Americans will be heading to the far east to teach ESL courses. Beats being a greeter at WalMart!

    December 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  25. Terry in Virginia

    We're where we've been for years - one paycheck away from disaster. The government claims that there's little inflation, but when food prices have risen 40%, gas has doubled, and the electric bill has increased 25% since 2007, why is that not inflation? Poor and middle class families are suffering, yet our elected representatives continue to play political football. No criminal charges have been filed agains the guys who wrecked the economy but working class Americans are treated like criminals for wanting to earn a living wage and health benefits. As to putting money in an actual savings account, why bother? There's little interest to be earned and if the bank folds, is the FDIC really going to replenish the money lost or is that just another scam? I no longer have hope or faith in our government leaders to do the right thing for anyone except themselves. They all need to go come Election Day, 2012.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  26. John (Roswell)

    $25,000 isn't a savings. It's a lifeboat with holes and doesn't last long to keep us afloat, what with being over-taxed, the rising cost of living and all those techno-gadgets we're expected to purchase just to keep up with the Jones's. Perhaps we should all pool our money and form a separate state.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  27. Andre R. Newcomb

    Well if banks don't have liquid assets and cummulative numbers to bankroll loans and investments, then I guess "Americans" WON'T be heading to 'Fast Freddy's' new scam. Shucks! I guess we won't have to come up with the money to have the privilege of 'NOT trespassing' on property that bankers and bankers' friends 'own'. We won't be "turning around and saying "Good Morning" to the night."

    December 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  28. Brad, Portland, OR

    The Republicans would say that this is a sign that they're lazy freeloaders and that they need to get a real job and work hard, like patriotic American CEOs do as they order factories shut down in the US and opened in China where loyal workers will gratefully work for $1 a day.

    Any other response is class warfare against the job creators.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  29. Dan5404

    Jack, I doubt that most workers ever had a lot more than that if they are below 40 years old. Raising kids, buying a home, etc. makes it hard to save money. Another problem is businesses cutting back on retirement plans. That's why funding Social Security is so important to survival. Instead of cutting it, we need to revise it to assure funding for the duration. There are plenty of areas to cut, it's just that Republicans want to cut programs critical to the middle class and poor, not those favored by their rich backers.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  30. Marilyn, Powell OH

    Maybe China where they can find jobs that left the United States.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  31. Larry in Houston

    They are headed to low wages / in addition to a 3rd world country, other than the ones that are super wealthy. I'd guess that IF you don't have Your Home or House paid for, in a few short years you will be on Food Stamps, period.

    The people who have their houses and Homes paid for, Can Make it, even if they work at McDonalds or any fast Food place, to pay their utilities & gasoline, if that's all they've got to pay for.

    Larry in Houston

    December 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  32. Ed from California

    Right exactly where the republican party wants us.........a third world country. Where there are one class of people.....the rich!! How's that Koch theory of, Trickle down working for ya. It's more like gusher up. Where our money gushes to the top. Thanks for the jobs, Boehner!!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  33. Brian From Fountain Colorado

    America is headed for the never ending story of need cash now. For instance, a broken record that preaches to the quire that never ends.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  34. Pat in Michigan

    I here you can live wel in the costa rica, honduras area.Get affordable health care too!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  35. Loren

    Does this fall in the category of meaningless statistics? Has it ever been any different? Are they disregarding other sources of capital that they might own, a house, an insurance policy, or other payment streams to which they are entitled, a pension, social security. Yes, not having money in the bank can be difficult, but as I found out during a period of extended unemployment/underemployment, I had resources that I could tap and while today I haven't been able to top up those resources to where they were, I have a job and am grateful to be working.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  36. David in Tampa

    If the Democrats have their way we are headed to Class Warfare. If the Republicans have their way we are headed to less than civil warfare. When there is too large a concentration of wealth in too few hands, to date, all cultures have declined to the point of extinction. At which time wealth no longer matters.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  37. steve

    I think this says that the average people in this country are worse off now than years ago,will be worse off in the years ahead than they are now.Our goverment has failed to take care of this country and the people,with the way they have run all the business out of this country.No jobs no money,its that simple. How can things ever get better with this system. Steve Illinois

    December 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  38. marlene

    $25,000 in savings? That is a joke. Most working people live from paycheck to paycheck and are lucky to have $2500 in savings. I wish I had $25,000 in savings.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  39. Ted

    Sad to say in more debt for those that can accumulate debt. Look at the half of Americans that have less than 25k you would need to ask is the living wage to low or are they living beyond their means, I see most people just getting through on pay check to pay check and trying to put a little away for a rainy day, which for most comes more often than you think. Look at the poverty levels in America we are seeing a deterioration of the middle class and this is another example of it. Yet you have many wealthy politicians and businessmen say the minimum wage is to high and keeps young adults or teen age children from work. We need a living wage for people.

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    December 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  40. Jayne in NH

    Where are we heading? Isn't that obvious? The average worker has been losing ground – serious ground – for 30 years. Prices have gone up dramatically while wages have gone down or remained steady. Some things, such as healthcare which used to be taken for granted, are now luxuries. Meanwhile, compensation for those at the top of the heap has risen about 250% over the same period of time. They've outsourced our jobs for the almighty investment dollar and then wonder why Americans can't save money. The savings go to uncovered medical expenses and sky high fuel costs and sometimes even to put food on the table when a job has been lost. If only, like that fairy tale, we could spin straw into gold. Maybe then we could save money.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Jamie in St. Louis

    Why save Jack? The government will take care of you.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  42. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Now mind you Jack, I can't say with any real certainty, but you would think some would start joining the 99%ers , some maybe will start there own businesses and maybe even some that are out of work entirely may want see if Herman Cain is hiring. Gee I never though about it before, but what if Herman Cain re-entered the race and won the Presidency, do you think he'd offer Palin ,Bachman and Blackburn cabinet positions ? Just a thought, sometimes I just get side tracked.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  43. Steve

    At my first job, I got paid some every day out of the cash register. My boss made me open up a savings account across the street and put some in, which I later converted to an IRA. Some 30 years later I'm using that to live on while I'm looking for a new job. Teach that in school now and good bosses, teach that to your new hires!


    December 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  44. chris

    means one thing our generation the one that is in their 30 or 40s want to live past 65 be prepared to be homeless cauae there will be no social security anymore why save now and not have fun while you still can is the message for our generation

    December 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  45. Doug Ericson

    Smaller house, used cars instead of new ones, less of everything, potatoes and chicken, less of everything and out of the cities. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  46. Peg from NY

    It says that the collective Christmas goose has been cooked for most Americans.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Kevin SD CA

    What worker? Be more specific!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  48. Mel - Houston

    I feel certain in the future the banks will see to it that Congress will create a debtor's prison for those that can't pay for their health care or theirr other needs. Oh my, I think I'm just giving Newt some new ideas.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  49. Terry

    Jack that went away back in 2002 when 600 of us lost our jobs due to the incompedence of one person trying to run a buisness and filling his pockets at the same time. Too many familiys hurt by one persons greed, now its alot of Ramon Noodles and trying to survive.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  50. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    We're headed for a two class nation of rich and poor. Our nation is geared for helping the wealthy and making the middle class extinct. This started when the trickle down theory was first introduced to our way of living. Every year it gets worse for the working man and better for the wealthy. The working man is asked to work harder for less money with no benefits. Jobs have been shipped overseas for the sole purpose of increasing money for the people who already have more money than they know what to do with. There is no loyalty anymore it is all greed and it is destroying our nation. Now there is even talk of getting poor children to work as janitors.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  51. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Americans are headed towards having that $25,000 go further south if the payroll tax cut is not extended and/or if the U. S economy doesn't improve at a faster and more robust rate in the next 12 months.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  52. Bill of New Mexico

    With world production of oil peaked,

    with America $ 17 trillion in debt,

    with Congress unable to budget,

    with Europe teetering to pull America over the edge;

    and now,

    most of working Americans with no savings!

    Where are Americans headed?

    It is not very pretty!


    no one wants to know the gory details.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  53. Phyllis G. Williams

    Where are Americans headed if more than half of workers say they have
    less than $25,000 in savings?

    I am totally dependent on Psalm 37: 25.
    This reminds me of latter day prophecies "upon the earth distress of nations"...
    "Men's hearts failing them for fear"'.(Luke 21: 25-26) and King David saying
    "In my distress I called and cried to my God (2nd Samuel 22: 7).

    December 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  54. Tom, Montana

    We are headed for a housing market crash that will make this last one look like mere foreplay.
    Many more people are going to be foreclosed on. Cheap houses on the market galore.
    Lots of people who can't pay for the commute to their meager jobs. No public transportation.
    No more personal reserves to use up. Then rapidly rising gas prices
    will be the coffin nail for sprawling suburban rural housing.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  55. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It means that obama has done nothing to help main street and the workers are headed for poverty,foreclosure, or bankruptcy if they lose their job or quit their job.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  56. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Well Jack,its pretty simple.If we don't quit trying to copy Greece's model and have no savings and deep in debt and teach each generation "you owe me""..........................we'll have no country or substance at all in who we are..Then we will get a connittee to study our dying country.Or r r r r !!! We can make a choice to step up and fix this country,its up to our people Jack.ITS OUR CHOICE AND OUR VOICE

    December 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  57. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Based on history, when the GOP gets in control that savings will be gone by 2014 as the poor will get poorer and the middle class will be poor. We are entering an era in time where we must change our lifestyles and expectations where we don't buy on credit and then default. We must wake up to the fact that this cycle is real.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  58. Gordon NJ

    Going? We are already there. The majority of formerly middle class Americans will probably never again be able to afford to buy their spouse one of those new cars with the Christmas bows that are advertised on TV every 5 minutes.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  59. Jim in Illinois

    Jack: I don't know but it's more than the FEDs have.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  60. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    They are headed to a steam vent on the streets to park their cardboard box

    December 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  61. Kurt Davis

    Price increases, wage stagnations straight into the light at the end of the tunnel. That train!

    December 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  62. like in the Bronx

    Port au Prince, Haiti

    December 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  63. Sylvia from San Diego

    We are heading toward HARD TIMES since there are no "rainy day" funds left.... We will have to get used to a reduction in our standard of living and being bossed around by our master (China)..... For those lucky enough to be working, get ready for taxes that are in the realm of 70%. Not a pretty picture America!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  64. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It looks like they will have to keep scratching out a living. Some posting here will blame other's for their plight. Putting someone else in charge of their life is never a good idea.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  65. Paulette Bent

    The American Dream does not exist anymore. Obama himself has alluded to this is his speeches. Until the Republicans get off their idea of not taxing the wealthy the other 99% of Americans are getting more and more resentful and it looks to me that a New Revolution is hitting American soil. This is a Democracy Not an Oligarchy!

    December 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  66. Tina Tx

    And think of the ones who are not even lucky enough to save anything? How does one expect to safe when you make whatever the mimimun wage is and cost of living is sky high? Everything has gone up for the poor & middle class but their salaries and the rich are becoming bigger fat cats and yet they wonder why people are fed up.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  67. Pete from Florida

    Where are they headed? VEGAS, baby!

    December 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  68. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    America is headed to third world status very soon, Jack. $25k is just an ambulance ride and a couple hours in an emergency room away from bankruptcy. The American worker has long been a target for extinction by large corporations and foreign interests bent on reducing our capacity to be self sufficient, and Congress is a willing partner in this global endeavor.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  69. Pete in Georgia

    Unless we re-gain our senses in Nov. 2012 and rid America of the current Socialist so called President, we are headed for catastrophic doom which will not only cause America to fold but the rest of the developed world with it.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  70. Bob from Bellmore, New York

    To paraphrase a line from the Little Rascals, “I don’t know, but we’re on our way”.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  71. Mark from New Jersey

    Is to hell in a hand basket too archaic? I'm planning to borrow the money from the 1%, who now have the money I would have had if my real estate value and my 401K hadn't tanked, and then not pay it back. Turn about is fair play.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  72. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Americans, the real ones, not unpatriotic disloyal heads of major corporations, are headed into the toilet. Five years before I retired, after a life of hard work, saving and wondering if I’d ever have enough to be comfortable, I looked at the numbers and they said that everything would be far better than I ever dreamed. I wouldn’t have to choose between a comfortable yacht, or a nice house or world travel, I’d be able to do it all. Just as I was getting canned for the crime of getting old, the dot com bubble blew up, George Bush was appointed president, 9/11 happened, Wall Street and corporate greed wiped out what was left of an enviable nest egg. Now I’m just hoping I can leave something for my daughter and her children, who may never have the opportunities I had. That other crowd of so-called ”Americans;” they’ll be just fine living off of our money.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  73. Carla

    I have less than half the $25,000 in savings, Jack - and it has nothing to do with paying down debt or sending kids to college. I'm 65 years old and dogged by medical expenses that continue to increase, while paying outrageous insurance premiums on a plan that didn't even cover removal of a cancer on my back. The medical "industry" - from doctors to insurance companies to pharmaceutical vampires - has drained my savings dry. I'm sure anyone out there who hasn't been able to save has a similar story. Living expenses have outstripped the ability to save.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  74. Roy Birdzell

    Down the yellow brick road to Kansas, where all will be taken care of by big government.

    Roy, Jax FL

    December 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  75. Lori - PA


    Headed? There already there. And that's in the poorhouse.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  76. Jerry Singleton, Fayetteville, Tennessee

    Either back to work or welfare.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  77. ps

    If more than half of all Americans have less than $25,000 in savings, we're headed to becoming a 3rd world nation. If that same half of Americans expect the other half to bail them out, they have another thing coming to them.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  78. William Demuth

    Many Americans already live off the financial grid.

    In twenty years, seniors who are working under the table will be as common as foreign illegal workers are today.

    We know we have been cheated, and in time many of us shall have no choice but to become cheaters ourselves.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  79. Enough

    Retirement is a myth, find a job you enjoy if you can and just work and be happy. Take vacations when possible. The stock market is the biggest sham in the world right now. If this were 1960 you'd make a fortune, now everyone has a 401k and computers trade thousands of shares at once in an instant. Its a scheme.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  80. Lew

    Lew from Brooklyn, N.Y
    I'm retired but I have substantially more than $25,000 in savings. You can figure on at least 30% increases in overhead costs so money that floats the boat now won't in the future. If all you have is $25,000 in savings, I suggest that you keep working or face financial failure in the senior years.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  81. suresh

    That is why it is so important that Social Security is not privatized or eliminated. The trend among GOP looks like that may happen if they come to power. Why Tea Party folks who I believe are in 99% do not understand that?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  82. jenny

    And what happens if you have no job, so you can't save money?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  83. V Scanlon

    Well, it looks like you're going to see a lot of baby boomers greeting a lot of people at Wal-Mart, or living with their children. I cringe at that thought.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  84. Jacques

    Headed to jail! Citizens will learn to engage in petty crimes, and count on being incarcerated for them. Then, they can be housed, clothed, fed and medicated at the government's expense – which is fitting, since it is largely as a result of government failings that citizens are in this plight!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  85. Stella-Northern New York

    Hello Jack. A sorry state people are in today thanks to George Bush and his 2 unpaid wars,the Republican Party and their deregulation of Wall Street and Banks too big to fail,Big Business,unfair trade agreements and paid incentives to ship American jobs out of the country. If Republicans are re-elected look forward to the rest of your savings being wiped out,elimination of ALL healthcare in any form,elimination of Social Security,elimination of minimum wage,loss of your homes,no college for middle class students and anything else they can take away from the middle class and transfer that wealth to the 1 percenters or should I say the job creators(death squad is more like it). We won't even be able to afford to buy a tent to live in. Ah but not to worry. The Republicans are already planning the next world war. Males of all ages will be drafted into the services and live in military tents (also a fast way to get rid of the old guys). Women and children left behind well.....your on your own! Do you middle class Republicans really know what your party is up to?? Think hard before you vote. You may be cutting your own throat!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  86. driranek

    Means test social security and medicare. They're supposed to be insurance programs – not entitlements. If you're rich and don't need them, well, you've been blessed. As it is, 7.65% of the wages of a single mother working for minimum wage go to subsidize the retirement of somebody with $100 million in the bank, and 7.65% of your wages do too.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  87. The all potent one

    My retirement is sitting in some to big to fail bank CEO's account thanks to the failed bail outs

    December 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  88. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I'm retired and have not a dime in savings, I say we should tax those with more than $25,000, hell with just the billionaires.

    Republicans ought to like that idea.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  89. Roger Smith

    Talk of needing $1.1-million to retire is utter nonsense. If you have paid the maximum into Social Security for several years, saved as much as you can, invested in the stock market, paid off all debt, including your mortgage, cars, etc., you can generate enough income to live fine. This is without pensions. I would say that $450,000 should be enough for you to live well until a very old age. Social Security income is very good, for those who paid the maximum. Sticking with the stock market, and not selling out when the Dow goes low, is the way to build savings and beat inflation.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  90. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    Where are we heading. We only need look back to the Dark or Middle Ages for the answer. We are heading for serfdom. The Lords and Ladies have taken about 50% of the investment accounts of middle America during the Great Recession. The GOP has blamed the shortages on unions, the President, the EPA, Dodd/Frank, etc. Unrepentant greed by the people who write the Golden Rules, rule. He who has the gold, makes the rules.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  91. Barb from Iowa

    Where are they heading? The same place I seem to be heading. I'm 63, and I should be adequately financed for retirement, but I've lost so much in retirement savings with the stock market's ups and downs, that I don't know when I can retire, if ever. Why didn't I save earlier? I did, through retirement accounts. But any extra money was already spoken for before it was here with raising kids and later, college expenses, some of which we're still paying off. Parent loans sound great until you figure out how much you have to pay back. My kids can't pay those loans. They can't get jobs that pay enough to let them live and pay off their loans, let alone save for their retirement. No, I suspect our golden years will include "Would you like fries with that?"

    December 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  92. Mike

    Well that 60" plasma will serve those people well in their retirement then won't it? Don't cry to me about retirement savings when I've seen too many people in line at stores to get the "next big thing" when they should be putting the money away.
    I've seen my retirement savings cut in half due to the stock market and I now owe more on my mortgage than my house is worth, but I still have over $25K in retirement savings.
    I do because I have been saving for almost 20 years. A little here, a little there. It adds up.
    If people don't have savings it isn't because of the 1%, the Republicans, or some unseen force called "bad luck."
    It is because of their own greed and selfish nature. It is because of their own ignorance with regards to the future. It is because of their own foolish nature to have everything the retail world pushes on them.
    Self restraint is a lost art on today's individual.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  93. Don

    I think it is more than just people are not saving. Yes, housing is down, but when it was up everyone's savings were going to the house not the retirement fund. f I had saved the income through my years of employment that was needed to have 1.1 million dollars at retirement I would have been living in poverty the entire time. No house to even depend on. My Dad did fairly well, (he is better off than i will be) why? because he had a pension plan through his employer when he was working. It was part of your compensation package and you didin't need to be an investment guru to get ahead for the future. Today these have been eliminated or robbed from and lifetime jobs are the rarity these days.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  94. curtis in philadelphia

    With this model we are headed to the Republican ideal of Utopia: a two-tiered society where the top 1% owns everything and everyone else has to fight it out for scraps.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  95. Charlie Everett WA.

    Jack - The old "three-legged stool": pension, savings-investment, Social Security, has been chopped up. Pensions (if at all) have become 401(k)s , subject to the stock market. Bank accounts, CDs, Money Markets earn less than 1% so all "savings" must take market risks in IRAs, ETFs and stocks-bonds to stay ahead of inflation. That leaves Social Security which should have been relied upon for 30% retirement income and now tries to meet 70% to 80% of many retirees needs.

    Medical expenses, including premiums and drug costs, are eating us alive. Rents keep going up as people can't get into houses. Food, transportation, utilities all stay a point or two above the official inflation rate.

    We need to start with a "baseline" that honestly recognizes what it costs to survive in America, and make this number part of the public discussion. Without an honest assessment, terms like "equitable," "shared sacrifice," "poor," "middle class," or "rich" are meaningless. That's a beginning.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  96. Bob

    I just hope those with less than $25K are young people just starting out with plenty of time to save. Unfortunately I know this is not the case. People will end up working until they no longer can work and then rely upon the good will of others to keep them alive. This is a sad state of affairs and begins with people thinking that Social Security is their government run retirement plan rather than what it is, a supplement to their retirement savings!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  97. Tom in Indiana

    People have failed to learn between a “want” and a “need” and now don’t have enough to retire. I’m a boomer that did know the difference and will retire. They had the big house and always had a new car and I’ll retire comfortably.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Charles - San Antonio

    That is a low dollar amount, but I don't believe that half of american workers have ever had signficant savings. There is and have always been a huge portion of americans who live paycheck to paycheck. These americans will probably end up working well past 65 or live meagerly on the little retirement income provided by social security. Times are hard right now for many mericans, but at some point, the economy will rebound which will allievate many of our current economic difficulties. The real question is how long will these unfavorable economic conditions will persist.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  99. Phyllis Vaughn

    They are headed towards OBAMA. Ask Gingrich howman past Presidents came from poor families? As in Clinton.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  100. sane

    The life expectancy is around 80. At 65 years of age, you would have 15 years left. $1.1M divided by 15 years is $73,333 per year. That's assuming that the investment return rate is the same as inflation. With investment return at 5% and inflation at 3% as the article suggests, you would need much less than $1.1M.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Paul - North Carolina

    It means they're headed into a bleak and dismal future. Many of the factors you mentioned have created setbacks even for those of us who had sound financial plans. But the core of the problem is that a vast number of Americans are clueless when it comes to managing their own finances. They max out their credit cards buying things nobody really needs then struggle to make minimum payments rather than put that money into an IRA or 401-K. They lease cars they could never afford to buy and make monthly payments beyond their means. They have all the latest designer clothes and electronic toys but no savings accounts. Then suddenly, as they close in on sixty, they realize that social security isn't going to save them. Sorry folks; no sympathy here.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Dave Brucher

    I am one of those who has saved enough to retire, at age 56!
    It means hard work, savings, investment and giving up things like driving a new car. Expensive vacations and a rich lifestyle are all things that we have forgone over the past 38 years to put us in the position to retire.
    Society is/has created a population of entitlement dependent people who live for the day.
    Remember the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper?? That is our society today.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Brad

    Well Jack, with skyrocketing health care, lack of jobs, high insurance costs, gas prices, where ever they go they will probably be walking.
    What a shame................

    December 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  104. mark in las vegas

    Wages in the United States are going down, rather than going up. At one time a high school graduate could get a job in a manufacturing job and make a living wage. Today, those jobs are going away. There is three types of jobs in the United States today and most don't pay well. You can get a job selling services and goods. You can get a job pushing paper. Or you can get a job flipping burgers. So, saving for retirement and saving enough is not going to work for the average person.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Hunter

    There will be no such thing as retirement, and no such thing as the middle class. It will be just us working poor, the extremely poor and the extremely wealthy who own us all.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  106. Jim Banner Nixa, Missouri

    Jack – I am 59 years old and have played by all the rules fianancially. I have worked hard and invested conservatively and wisely but because of powers beyond my control – the stock market declines of the last three years, the devaluation of my house and the non-existant interest earnings on C.D.'s – I find that I will have about half of what I thought I would have in retirement. Still, that will be twenty times more than what many Americans apparently have. Where are Americans with underfunded retirements headed? We used to say "to the poor house" but there isn't one anymore!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  107. bnevada

    everyone seems to forget, live on your income means. not buy cadillacs that you cant afford in the beginning. charge those cards to the max. buy homes on interest only loans. be resposible for your own actions! the hard workers work hard, the lazy people collect unemployement and get lazier!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  108. Bill

    Anyone who has worked 40+ years, and saved less than $25,000 has only themselves to blame. That's about $12 a week. Where is the personal responsibility?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  109. Gigi Oregon

    Right where the Republicans want them. Dead broke. They have supported the Republican party, corporate America, the banking and mortgage industries to legally rob the baby boomers. Their parents and grandparents tried to warn them not to put their nest eggs in one basket...now they are part of the occupiers of wall street movement. What American family (of the 99%) could raise a family and save 1.1 million before retirement. On minimum wage jobs or in right to work states. And now banks have figured out a way to steal the old homestead away from our parents.

    I'm just waiting for the Republican Party to tells us, if we can't afford bread "eat cake". That's when the war will start.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  110. andy in Gaithersburg

    savings account? what's a savings account?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  111. Christopher Scott, Oregon

    South America!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  112. Jarrod Rager

    Many people are not in a sound enough financial position to retire and as history suggests this is the normal human experience. Even with the advancements made the past centuries and decades the ability to retire is reserved for those who have collected enough resources to do so. Whether this is fair or not is obviously a huge point of contention, I just wanted to illuminate the reality that outside of brief periods of time for small populations retirement isn't a consistent human experience in history.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  113. Mike

    I used to be middle class, now I can hardly afford to live in the US. Mexico is still reasonable. Maybe we should all migrate there and leave the 1% behind to repair there roads with out our tax dollars.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  114. pat carr

    Thankfully we're not personally on the part that has only $25k or less. But america is heading for trouble bigtime. wasn't there an article a few days ago that said that most americans couldn't even do a $1k emergency?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  115. ron Denver, CO

    Now Jack what about the $600-700 dollars a month everyone has been putting into their social security fund?? isnt that savings enough? Don't try and trivialize the dinky savings of most people cause those most people are the 99% who have to count on the huge amount taken out of their checks for social security and CANNOT AFFORD the 1% retirement savings you may be referencing. Im not buying Social Security is broke any longer. It is BEING STOLEN just like everything else from the 99%. Stagnet wages, rising costs, taxes, and yes social security and medicare 10% off the top......NEED is say more. There is nothing left to save, gimme a break!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  116. RandyinDC

    I just can't have a house without a two story foyer...can you imagine....me living in a rancher? I have two kids so I have to have a big SUV... They say we are in a recession, but when I go to the mall, it is packed. When I get on a plane, it is packed. The secretary in my office who makes 1/4 of what I make drives a Mercedes while I drive a Honda. People care more about making sure their neighbor sees them in a fancy car than about making sure they have enough money when they retire or their children's education. I am so sick of hearing..I work hard..I deserve it. Its sad really.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  117. Jeff

    Jack, retirement is a thing of the past for most Americans. The American dream is not retirement, its ifyouI can still afford to pay your bills. Retirement went out with high button shoes

    December 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  118. Hugh Jass in Butte Montana

    They're headed to your local soup kitchen, brought to you by Coca-Cola.
    I think that if inflation increases the cost of living in all things, and the pay stays the same, this is what you get. Once more Ron Paul predicted it, and once again no one listened. This is what happens when the Federal Reserve is allowed to act with impunity in matters of money.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  119. Randy

    It doesn't matter as long as we have billionaire moneychangers, millionaire athletes, millionaire actors, and millionaire??? What is it that the kardashians do again?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  120. Rhymeskeema

    I think we are headed for a Soylent Green type future where the elderly are executed and turned into food for an overpopulated and starved planet. Not kidding. Sci fi is notorious for implanting predictive programming ideas in viewers.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  121. Cindy - Georgia

    Well, Jack, when there is no tax on savings account interest and an income tax on investment earnings, many people will become better prepared for retirement.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  122. Scott

    The baby boomers have ruined the country. They have the houses and the money, but we (people younger than them) are paying 15% FICA tax so they can collect Social Security while they sit on their lazy butts. Meanwhile, the government, both Republicans and Democrats, care only about rich people. Obama turned out to be just a charlatan. He made all kinds of promises he didn't keep and now that election time is rolling around again he's suddenly a "man of the people" even though half his staff are Wall Streeters. But where can we turn–Republicans are worse. They only care about the rich.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  123. Melissa

    Simple. Americans are headed for a future where working part time is considered retirement.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  124. Jim in Georgia

    OK. Just where are they getting that 5%interest???
    The best I have is 3% with a 5 year commitment.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  125. Melissa

    A modern form of feudalism, perhaps-one that leaves us indebted to our creditors and the companies we work for rather than our landlords (although they'll probably be the same people).

    December 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  126. RobbyT

    Belize. That's where I'm headed.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  127. Walter

    Where are Americans headed if more than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings?

    Jack you mean to say that someone has $25,000 in saving. Quick call Obama there must be some worthwhile program
    that is money can help fund.

    Walter in Williams CA

    December 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  128. Mike in Pekin

    Jack, this just will make my retirement look cushy by comparison. "Why yes, we have both HEAT and FOOD!"

    December 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  129. Conor in Chicago

    It's pretty upsetting to read some of the comments here about people who need to stop complaining and just "work hard" etc. These strike me as the same people who call OWS protestors "Commies" who "who want everything handed to them" who don't realilze you can't get a job in this country anymore unless you pay 60K in student loans and with wages being stagnant for 30 years you're lucky if you are making half of that annually. There is a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM in this country and if government doesn't get its act together soon and address this we are going to address it for them.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  130. Sally in NC

    It all boils down to GREED. Reagan's trickle down didn't mean ..line your pockets and get out with the millions. He meant to work hard and reinvest in your business and the job market. The politicians are getting their's too. Millions going to PAC groups and campaigns...money that could create jobs, and the DC crowd won't change/reform this. I am middle class,struggling at age 59. I blame the GOP, and especially the TEA Party for the mess we are in. Being conservative and being right wing are becoming two different entities. I will never vote for another Republican, I voted for Reagan and I wish he were alive and of sound mind because I don't think he would approve of the current Congress and the horrible bi-partisanship going on now. We pay them and they are supposed to work for us...the PEOPLE.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  131. Jeff

    Too many people today live for the NOW. I want it NOW and that's why they spend beyond their means. Let's keep up with the Jones, I deserve that big ticket item. With the switch to digitial TV, how many people threw out TVs that still worked with a converter box to get the fancy TV. Houses and property can't be used as income. Having a 401K means nothing anymore because you are depending on someone's values with honesty and integrity to make sure that the stocks hold their value. Granted, a saving account gives little interest, it's still real money. Obama had the full democart house and senate and they still couldn't get things done. It's not just the GOP, it's both sides of the aisle. All current holders of office should not be reelected by the people. We need new people not the current batch who are just trying to hold onto jobs for themselves by promising benefits to people.

    Unfortunately, we as a country have lost our personal self reliance and now expect the government to take care of us.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  132. Julnor

    Spend less, save more. Buy a used car and drive it until it stops. Don't buy every new thing that comes out. Buy a 2000 sq ft house instead of a 3000 sq ft house. Put money into a 401k and IRA. Learn about investing and invest smartly. Your retirement is your responsibiltiy. It's up to you to make it happen.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  133. Honest Abe where are you?

    "Big Government" could be taking care of many more of us if we weren't in the habit of going off to war in far away places, wasting trillions of taxpayers money, and having our troops killed and wounded.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  134. the_dude

    My retirement went bye bye now I have only 2 options. Work until I drop or become a criminal and steal until I get caught or killed. Neither choice is appealing.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  135. Food4Thought

    Neither of my grandparents ever made more than $10/hr. They worked, they saved, they lived in their means, they retired early, they live comfortably.

    Point blame whereever you'd like, but remember, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  136. Joe Margraff

    Boom! There goes another exploded myth. American families live on a strict budget. Unlike the governmen,t families don't spend money they don't have.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  137. Honest Abe where are you?

    "If you have paid the maximum into Social Security for several years, saved as much as you can, invested in the stock market, paid off all debt, including your mortgage, cars, etc., you can generate enough income to live fine."

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  138. driranek

    Learn Spanish. This will make it easier to take your savings (if any) and equity in your house (if any) and retire to a favela near any major latin american city. You might be able to have a halfway decent life there, until the first time you got sick, of course.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  139. Michelle

    Nowhere... we have the rich trying to comfort the middle class, working poor, and poor, giving us this hogwash that they know what we are going through and know how we feel and how they are the person to fix it. There is such a disconnect from the top to bottom that we run in circles trying to make ends meet while they step on us to go higher into the 1%. We are in a sad state until we rise up and declare that "we are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore!"
    Michelle in NH

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  140. D, Virginia

    When will we, as individuals, start taking our lives into our own hands and quit blaming everyone else? I am 30 years old, have almost 100k in savings, and am earning 80k a year. I've been working for 6 years as an engineer who is not a math genius or some special prodigy. I can't seem to find reason to blame the GOP for my condition. Nor can I blame Democrats. I think I am taxed fairly. BUT, I have 100k in savings because I saved it. I don't go out and buy the latest knick knack gadget (iThis, iThat) or a new computer every few years, or a new car or too much house. I have a nice house and two cars. Not a single bit of what I have has been inherited or gifted to me. I have taken responsibility for my life and earned a degree in math/science. I grew up in a rural town of 4000 people. There's no damn reason for 56% of Americans having nothing more than 25k saved for retirement other than bad decision making on their own part, or an unforeseen calamity wiping them out. I tend to think it's mostly bad decision making and greed on the entire American continent, such as mortgaging and re-financing homes without ever paying them off. Borrowing other people's money without any notion of paying it off is greed at it's core. Borrowing to buy new cars every few years is also greed if you haven't earned the money to buy that car outright. Greed is rampant in this country. Frugality and common sense is lacking all across America. We need to quit blaming politicians and everyone else and start living our lives like we're responsible human beings.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  141. the_dude

    If you have only 25k to retire on I suggest you use that money to buy a bunch of weapons then go around and rob the 1%'ers like pelosi and obama and boehner and feinstein.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  142. BS

    I'm sure this is the fault of everyone except those who chose not to save....

    December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  143. John in Utah

    Worked hard for 45 years, have two retirement plans, Social Security, and a couple of hundred K in 401K's. I also paid a substancial amount of my kids education costs. What's the problem. I guess those that didn't look ahead should have something to cry about but they get what they planned for ....nothing....sorry Jack, I have no sympathy for those that expected the Government to take care of them.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  144. John in Virginia

    If you want to retire, it's your responsibility. I started planning for it before I was even 18 years old. Sometimes I'm only able to put away a few hundred dollars in an entire year, but I'm still working toward my goal. Blaming the 1% for something YOU failed to plan for is lazy.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  145. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    At a time when Americans need more than ever to be protected from the more predatory aspects of capitalism, the Republicans in Congress are still filibustering the formation of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency

    December 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  146. Nima

    Better questions is: When will you retire Jack?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  147. Len in NC

    I agree with Noel. The three basic things affecting us are taxes, regulations and government debt. Our country has been duped into an entitlement mentality. My wife and I are mortgage free, helped with college education for two daughters (by the way they graduated debt free thanks to Mom and Dad), I have a nice 401K svaings and we have savings in the bank. What we haven't done is go on cruises, let credit card debt get out of hand, we don't subscirbe to cable TV, we have only one large television in our home which was bought only about two years ago, we don't go on expensive or elaborate vacations. In other words, we have been frugal, have lived within our means and have not gone into debt to have every trinket, ipod, iphone, gadget, widget, etc. that many people think that they need. It's not big business or the GOP at fault, it is every individual making decisions contrary to what they can afford. Finally, never base a mortgage payment on two salaries. That is suicidal! Only buy the amount of home that is necessary and no more. Come on America, quit blaming everyone else for your debt problems!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  148. Burbank from CA

    I don't know about anyone else but I have had the rug pulled out from under me 3 times by Reganimics and economic downturns and have had to start completely over from penniless scratch each time. I will never be able to retire and I suspect there are a lot of people like myself out there.

    I am 61 and have spent a total of 11 years out of my life looking for work every time the economy goes south, that's a lot! Of course as a result my tiny nest egg is a pathetic joke! Thank goodness I have no debt other than car payments but I have no idea what will happen when I get to an age where no one will hire me and that's probably not far away!

    God help us all!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  149. Eric

    Sucks for them, I have double that and I'm only 28 years old. I didn't do anything special, just work hard and don't overspend. I don't really feel sorry for MOST of them. It isn't hard to save up, ditch the iPads.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  150. Mike

    Mike , Houston TX

    We are headed for a sad state of affairs where multiple generations co exist under one roof. Grandma, Grandpa, mom, dad, and the kids cycling through one house generation after generation. That's how they do it in greece. You didn't actually think they save up enough to retire by age 52 did you? At least the family will be "painfully" close.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  151. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    America is headed for an awakening that it takes working people to make this nation great. It's time that all paid their fair share and helped the nation grow great again. It's time to get past the I'll take my marbles home and won't playl People are finding that their survival is dependent on the ballot box, something corporations can't do. American's can't save what corporations have taken.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  152. Steve

    The golden-years were a short-lived 20th century fantasy. People are going to have to go back to how it it's been throughout human history. If you didn't save up enough, you work until you're too weak or sick to and then you die. Unless relatives or charities take care of you.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  153. Suzanne

    I have worked hard all my life. I studied hard in school was an A student. I worked hard while in school and since school. I took on responsibilities at work when others would not. I now make good money and I have good savings for retirement. I use about 15% of what I make to help others. I am afraid this will be taken away from me because I have done the right things. I have not gone into debt. I have raised my kids to do the same and they are both productive members of society. Since I try to help some people that are close to homeless I see how they are totally dependent on the government and they don't want to work hard. They find a job and then when its inconvenient for them they dont go and eventually they get fired. There are a few that try to break out but not many because there is no reason for them to, the govt bails themout over and over. Being single is encouraged because you get less help if you are a married couple. Stop blaming republicans? Sure they make mistakes but much of the social help that hurts came from Democrats. I also pay a lot of taxes-probably close to 30%. Maybe other people who make good money don't but I know I do. So I resent OWS. I wish people would stop putting anyone in categories and look at individuals and what they do. There are good and bad people of all colors, races and wealth levels.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  154. Cindy

    Having retired myself, I know how hard it is going to be for them. But wages have only gone up18% for these workers in the last 30 years. They will certainly need 1/2 million to survive. American workers don't have any disposable income to save. The cost of health care, taxes, utilities, fuel have almost wiped them out. There is a big disaster looming on the horizon for this country.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  155. Shirley in Prescott, AZ

    Jack, some people just spend everything they earn. My son is in his 46, has a good job and spends every dime he makes. Save for a rainy day? You've got to be kidding me. Many people have it rough now days, but some people wouldn't save if you put a gun to their heads!

    December 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  156. Blanchjoe

    The FACT of retirement is a very, very recent historical and social phenomena. Prior to the last 200 Years or less only the extremely wealthy "retired", in fact they didn't really work at all. For those on the lower socio-economic ladder, you worked till you could not work any more. Period. This is what is in store for us Baby Boomers. I have NO retirement Savings, it took ever dime I made to survive Rent, Food, Power costs, in short my income just matched ( and often didn't match ) my expenditures to survive. When my Father was alive he put 3 kids through college, bought several homes, built a businee, support 8 Kids and a Stay-At-Home Wife on his signle income. Today this is not even remotely possible even factoring for inflation. I will work at whatever job will have me until I drop dead at my desk, and that is if I am lucky. This will be my retirement. Currently in our culture only the very well off can retire. Blanchjoe

    December 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  157. Jim in San Mateo

    Economic revolution. If the current economic situation continues and Congress (with Republicans in the majority) continues to do nothing, the people will revolt and throw the money changers out of the halls of the Capitol. The number one thing that people can do to change the current situation is register to vote.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  158. stevegee

    Dear Jack,

    That's what happens when you rely on the government to take care of you. Millions think Social Security will be their retirement fund, when in reality it's the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. And now, after three years of Obama's failed policies, his Food Stamp nation is growing faster than ever!

    Steve in Philly

    December 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  159. Nathan

    I'm surprised 56% of people only have less than $25K in savings. I wasn't rich growing up, I put myself through school for an undergrade and masters degree (student loans). I now do very well for my self. I bought a home 4 years ago and a new car and spend more now than I would of 2-3 yeara ago. But the one thing I always made sure was taken care of was maxing out my IRA and putting 15% of my paycheck in my 401K since I was hired at 25. I would eat beans and rice if I had to to keep my investments up to par.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  160. Donaldo in ATL

    Jack: Many of us BOOMERS took a loss with the recent downturn in the market. Look at the employees at Enron, who lost everything...truthfully..there is no safe haven secure for retirement, much of it is just plain luck. Many BOOMERS will simply work longer for two reasons, to maintain their lifestyle and same for a delayed retirement, but also to fill the coffers for those behind us. I enjoy what I do, started my own business, am semi-retired, have tremendous flexibility and a decent income, so with some luck I can stay active and be a contributing member of society for years to come. Many of us have no other choice...it is called living life.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  161. Ben

    Tough question, Jack. Communes for single people?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  162. BS

    "I would say that $450,000 should be enough for you to live well until a very old age."

    Math is your friend. The article assumed the household want's $50k/yr which has to grow along with inflation. At that rate, $450k would last less than 10yrs.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  163. Gerry from Lee Massachusetts

    I am one of those 'Boomers". 66 and still working. Where are we headed? Well, we got ourselves into this mess and the only way is up. That means more of us working well beyond 65, more of us trying to depend on alternatives to the life styles that got us here in the first place, and a realization that the blame is squarly on our shoulders. Reduce cedit card debt, shy away from luxuries beyond our means, and work to help rebuild America through volunteering so that the next generations dont relive our predicament........

    December 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  164. Wilson James

    Funny. All the money is in the hands of the big bankers we bail out, the big oil execs we allow to despoil our country and the Insurance company men that find ways to take us. Big business is a con game, a cheat on the American people propped up by a corrupt GOP. Someday the middle class will vanish and we will become Brazil.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  165. Sandstone.

    "25-000, is a lot more than I have, but then I gave, and still continue to give away more than I need. It all depends on your age, and how much you need? It's to grandparents to chip in for their own, if they need it. Leave it in the bank only gives it to the system when you're gone, the system you do all the complainig about? Or don't you??"

    December 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  166. BS

    "With investment return at 5% and inflation at 3% as the article suggests, you would need much less than $1.1M."

    Planning to only live to 80 and to die with $0 to your name is stupid. What if you die a few years later? Or if inflation winds up being 1% higher than your returns? Assuming there is no risk is asking for trouble.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  167. BD70

    We never maxed out credit cards..we saved and put tons towards retirement. The stock market knocked our gains back down. We are half way to a million but don't think we will make the goal. That and being laid off. The down time between jobs put retirement savings on hold. Now I am back working and playing catch up.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  168. Witness

    Indeed, roughly speaking, people need, in savings, 25X – after tax – what they hope to draw out annually. And very, very little debt if it' s "only" 25X!

    Only about 6% or 7% of Americans can afford that paltry $50K! The median retiree family has only $380K in net worth – and that is mostly in their house. So, when you retire, cash flow is king. Better hope you get a pension and SS.

    In some sense, then, pensions and SS are like having 25X their annual sum in the bank.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  169. mikes

    It's a hole they've dug themselves. Overall, Americans should be better off than the previous generations. The number of stay-at-home moms dropped from 44% to 26% from 1969 to 2009. Inflation has been in the 3-4% range since the early 80's. Wages have generally had a steady rise in real dollars since the 1950's.

    But, people today seem to want it all, and want it now. The increases in household income have been more than offset by the costs of bigger houses, fancier cars, more going-out-to-eat (and $4 coffee!), etc. This is reflected in the increases in personal debt. It's the credit card society. Why wait until you can pay for it, when you can charge it today?

    So, it really comes as no surprise that the money spent for instant gratification isn't available for retirement. The previous couple of generations had some level of personal attachment to the depression, so tended to be more frugal. And, they got much more out of Social Security than they ever put in, which newer generations had to fund.

    The only unfairness is toward those who have funded Social Security their whole working lives, because they probably won't ever see more than a fractional return of those dollars. But that's what voting for congresses who vote for entitlement programs, and steal to pay for them, gets you.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  170. Cathie L, Pensacola

    They will move in with relatives. Kids will have to take care of their parents, like the parents did for them. Old fashioned values again- not so bad in some respects. Kids should help their parents out if they have been meticulous with the money and are in dire circumstances, and if they've paid the kids college expenses. They aren't helping out their parents, they are in fact paying back the money they owe.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  171. Travis

    Is this really a surprise? For the past 30+ years, Americans have been buying foreign goods, giving away their OWN JOBS in the name of saving a buck. Imagine when the first American manufacturer moved operations to China. What would have happened of Americans looked at "Made in China" stamped on the bottom, then refused to buy it. Not just a few Americans, but 100% of them. That company would have gone out of business. Then the second one moves to China, and goes out of business. And the third. How many businesses would it have taken before every American business owner knew that moving to China meant going out of business? 5? 10? I'm sure not many. Instead, we had American consumers willing to buy Chinese goods. Now, 30+ years later, all these American consumers are wondering where the jobs are. Well, guess what! If you bought Chinese goods back in the 70s and 80s (Boomers and older generations, I'm looking at YOU), YOU are responsible for our current lack of jobs. I say the blame for our job losses goes:

    5% government – for drafting, passing, and allowing unfair trade agreements
    5% CEOs/business owners – for taking advantage of the trade agreements
    90% – AMERICAN CONSUMERS – for buying the foreign goods for the past 30+ years

    If American consumers refused to buy foreign products, it never would have mattered what politicians and business owners tried to do. Therefore, American consumers get the LARGE majority of the blame.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  172. Scott Stodden

    I Guess It Leaves Us All In The Poor House Right Jack?

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    December 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  173. Doug

    Well Jack, the picture is not quite as bad here in Canada but I know I'll be going to work. I have about $30,000 in savings and my house will be paid for in a couple of years when I turn 65. I can't afford to retire but I count myself lucky that I have a loving wife, two grown kids who visit once in a while, a small but decent house and a job that will allow me to live well as long as I'm healthy. It could be worse.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  174. Larry - Irvine, California

    starting today, simplify – develop plan to cut expenses to 90% of projected revenues, and help others along the way, and you will be fine

    December 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  175. Jerry in Alaska

    With over 75% of the Worlds population only making $2.00 a DAY, i'd say that anyone with $25,000 savings is rich & needs to pay more taxes to helpus poor folks.
    Just kidding about that more Tax stuff.

    What ALL Americans need is a Govt. Bailout of a couple Million for each person, thats for TRUE Americans, not wannabe's or pretendtobe's, or those that Hated America before the Chosen One came to be OUR GR8 Divider, Destroyer/savior.

    That would be a Sharing Equally plan/scam now would it not Jack?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  176. Joe

    Where have you been Jack? Is this the first time you realized this. It's been coming for the past 3 years. Will most of us have to work into what was once called the retirement years...of course. We all know the reasons. What I can't believe is that you are just waking up to this reality.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  177. PaulC

    With the "on your own" (I got mine now you get yours) agenda pursued by the GOP the country is quickly becoming a nation of minimum wage workers with no benefits. All better paying manufacturing jobs outsourced but a tee-shirt made in China cost $60.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  178. TRH

    ...and yet most of them will still fly the flag and vote Republican. Twits.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  179. Steve

    Those retirement figures are all bogus. We all need to tighten our belts do away with take out pizzas movies new cars and electroincs. We do not need that much money to live on

    December 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  180. Allan Blackburn

    I hope all of you remember where the voting polls are and that we do not have a repeat of the mid-term elections. We voted these people in to office and we can vote them out. They need the boot.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  181. John (Los Angeles, CA)

    Wake up everyone – don't blame the Democrats, the Republicans, or the 1%.

    It is YOUR responsibility to save – take a look at yourself before you blame anyone.

    Are you spending $80 per month on your iPhone (that's $960 per year) Do you REALLY need that iPhone?

    Are you spending $100 per month on cable television so you can watch sports (that's $1,200 per year)? Do you REALLY need cable television?

    How many Starbucks coffee drinks per week are you purchasing – one a day for $3/day – that's $780 per year.

    Are you leasing a Lexus or a BMW – do you get a new car every two years? Are you making monthly payments potentially $350/month? That would be $4,200 per year – buy a used car and live with it for 5 years and save $20,000 – do you really need that Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes?

    How many times per month do you eat out at a restaurant – stay at home and cook (this can save THOUSANDS per year).

    It's time for everyone to look at their PERSONAL expenditures – do you REALLY need any of the garbage that marketers are pushing down your throats?

    It's time that we all start taking personal responsibility and realize that all these expenditures are MAKING SOMEONE ELSE RICH and leading YOU to the poor house. This is not the fault of the Republicans or Democrats or the 1% – this is our own fault for keeping up with the Jones.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  182. Rob in NC

    My plan for retirement is quite simple, I will hobble my walker into my classroom and die in mid-sentence at 120 years old.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  183. Tony

    The Chinese curse is upon us. We are living in interesting times.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  184. calaurore9

    To that enormous nursing home funded by our grandchildren. No? Funded by the government. No? We're screwed.

    Carol in Northampton

    December 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  185. Dave Moore

    I just don't get it. I started working at age of 15 in a small town of 4000 people. Went to 2 years of college , got drafted , got married , had kids and worked my ass off everyday. Now I'm 2 years from retiring and have paid the max into Social Security for several years and have been able to save a little money for retirement. No one ever GAVE me anything. I earned it through hard work and never have asked for a dime from anyone. I'm the average middle ground American who watches others want to give our hard earned money to others who have never lifted a finger to help themselves. I say hell no and if you only saved $25,000 , you never put in the effort to retire. Does not apply to those who are handicapped or disabled veterans. I'll help those folks all day long.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  186. Rykk

    NONE of us 99 percent will EVER retire. It's been evident ever since Reagan dropped tariffs in the 1982 "voodoo economics" budget year. I remember Dukakis and Hart both bringing up in the debates that we were losing good-paying manufacturing jobs. Run a search – you'll see. And the 401(k) is only a means to supply a padded cushion of steady liquidity to the stock market for the 1% to play off of. All the rah-rah flag waving noise about American exceptionalism is bs. What made us great and won both WW's was our manufacturing capacity which had no choice but to move offshore to compete once the "circle was broken" by the GOP in the 80's. "Regulations" is just a buzz-word. What makes the rest of the world competitive is that companies offshore don't have to pay for HEALTH CARE and RETIREMENT. Those countries treat their citizens like humans, not dogs, and don't spend multi-trillions on "defense" budgets fighting wars against trumped up "enemies" to keep those millions of tax-payer paid defense industry and military jobs going. (that's socialism!) Jobs that produce NOTHING commerically viable or sellable to fuel the economy like the ones we've lost offshore.
    Until the gov. gets its priorities straight and protects/reclaims those jobs by raising tariffs, we will be able to fund none of the domestic infrastructure repairs needed, no help for OUR OWN CITIZENS to weather this storm, and – at the end (truly) of the day – none of the mega high priced military hardware they tell us we need...

    Rick in FL

    December 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  187. Walter Shmitt

    I don't know about the rest, but this one is going to Mexico. I bought land in Baja for $3000, and the house I'm building will cost me less than $15000. Taxes are less than $200/yr. If social security is still around, it alone would support me quite nicely in Baja!
    Hasta la vista suckers.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  188. Mikey from Oregon

    Well, how are you going to retire from a job that you were let go from in the first place? Oh, I get it. Find another one. Sure, who will hire someone within several years of retirement age? Yeah, some part-time, minimum wage job ought to do it.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  189. Tom

    Most Americans never did save, so this is nothing new. Americans are saving more now than in the past. The problem now is that the Corporations (that are now "people" according to the Supreme Court have ended the great defined benefit pension plans of previous years, that when coupled with Soc. Sec. gave most workers what they needed to have a modest retirement! Now all the money is at the top of the system and that is why you see the "Occupy" movement on the streets of America!!

    December 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  190. John from western North Carolina

    Where are we headed? Back to work, of course.

    And in response to some of your other responses, I worked hard for 47+ years, paid off the mortgage, put 15%+ of my income in to retirement savings, paid off the credit cards in full every month, and lived within my means. After 8 years of George W. and the Republican control of congress, the housing bubble popping, the tanking of my stocks, and the worst recession since the 1930’s, I still can't retire and I'm 68.

    Gee, I wonder what party I will not be voting for?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  191. JD in KC

    First ask yourself the following:
    How many big screen TVs do you have?
    Do you have the latest cell phone along with one for the rest of your family?
    Do you lease the latest greatest car?
    Do you drive a gas waster SUV
    DId you max out your 401K and IRA contribution?
    Do you take your lunch to work or eat out.

    You get my point Jack. If you live beyond your means, then be accountable for your own decisions and quit your whining?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  192. Kim

    Jack, it's said how many people want to blame someone else for their situation (GOP, TeaParty, 1%, etc.), quite a few people in trouble now lived way beyond their means. A bumper sticker I just saw summed it up well, "I want it all and I want it now"....the only thing that might be added is..'and I don't want to earn it'.......oh well

    December 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  193. Victor


    I lived in India for three years and it appears we're heading to a similar society where multiple generations of family members live together and share living quarters and expenses. Sounds crazy, but maybe it won't be so bad?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  194. Szmarie

    This retiree will most like be headed off to one of the ex-pat communities in Mexico or Central America (Costa Rica if I'm lucky). Won't need no $50,000 per year and I can probably have a cook and a gardener too.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  195. Rusty Shakelford

    People still have money?? As a board member of three Wall Street Banks, this is unacceptable. That money belongs to me!!

    December 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  196. Jordan in Washintgon, DC

    My parents are baby boomers and will most certainly have to work until they die to pay their bills, which include college education for my little brother and I. At 26 I have already started contributing to my retirement, but that $1.1 million seems unattainable, even with 40 years of contributions. I love them to death, but I need to find a way to not end up like my parents will...

    December 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  197. Jack from Toronto

    Americans spent $54 billion on Black Friday, more on Cyber Monday..money that most had to borrow. Of course there's nothing left for their retirement after they've mortgaged their future.

    Ask yourself, how many credit cards did their parents' have? How did they retire with dignity? Could it be that they saved in the good times for all of those bad ones?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  198. Rex

    Ok...let think about this. My dad was a janitor, worked three jobs, I worked to put myself through college, served in the Marine Corps worked and for many years never made more than $25,000 per year, put my two children through school...and all along..drove junk cars and saved some money. Am now a few years away from retirment and my nest egg of $800,000 should get me there. What planet to you freeloading liberal bums come from? People that do not have at least something saved are absolute losers and just don't want to admit it.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  199. John Phelps

    Pack our bags Jack, we're headed for a third world existance.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  200. Robin -- Henderson NV

    Yep, when I first move to Las Vegas 6 years ago, i said to myself why are they building all these houses, and they do not have people to fill them, they then started to give these loans people could not afford (A LA BUSH DEREGULATION), to get them in these over priced boxes they called houses. then the bottom fell out in 2007. These Morons want to blame Obama, the sad truth is the GOP have sold America out, they are snake oil salesmen. Just look at the congress and the biggest fraud is leading the race to be the GOP nominee. How can anyone vote Republican with a straight face. Tell me how Jack

    December 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  201. John Barry

    Where is America heading? Ask the Romans. They might know.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  202. Larry -Denver

    Does anyone in Washington understand what a poverty line is? $25,000 gets you nothing. Rent, electric, gas, clothes, education. Retirement? death is now the new retirement. You work (if you can find and hold a job) until you cant anymore, you die, and hope someone has put aside some money for a funeral. The American dream is a nightmare.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  203. Pete/Ark

    Down to the dicount store to get a can of catfood for dinner Jack.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  204. Kevin K.

    I plan on retiring in the next 2 years, yet have less than 25,000 dollars saved. I figured I could call up Mr. Trump for help, seems to work for GOP nominees.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  205. Slayde

    Having family that have retired abroad, this is and will be an option for Americans

    December 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  206. john in vermont

    Our new economy only rewards the richest 1%, while the middle-class is eroded by the elites who rob them of their dreams and their wages and now finally striped of their illusion of retirement. This country has gone to he11 in a handbag.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  207. John M Mount Kisco, Ny

    Well Jack I sadly have to say I think that percentage is MUCH higher than polls suggest. And let's not forget the poll is for working Americans. If that poll was taken to include all who are working now and who were laid off since 2008, whew we would have more like 70% with less than $25,000 in savings. That's the scary part here, were not including everyone that is working and would still have jobs had it not been for the recklessness of a select few greed driven maniacs in 2008!!!
    So that number is more dismal unfortunately than we think.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  208. Miguel in San Leandro, CA

    It's come to the point where we can't trust the stock market any longer. Twice I have had my 401k cut in half since the 90's. It is out of our control unless we go totally conservative and even bonds can take a hit. Mutual funds let us down. I blame wall street for a lot of the problems. I will just work at my career until I can't work any longer.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  209. drew

    What we need to do as Americans is try to make money,if you used to have a good job then you dont have to worry. but you worked at mcdonlads your whole life your probably not gonna make the cut....this is when America needs better jobs.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  210. Kevin A Hemp

    Jack, I think the Republicants said it best a few years back. DIE OLD MAN, DIE. and get out of our way!

    December 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  211. Odell Grooms

    if you are 60 years old and have less than 25,000 dollars in savings you're already in trouble.

    Please cut your expenses and start saving more ASAP!!!

    Good Luck To You

    December 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  212. Joe Stafford, Elko, NV

    Jack, all us Old people will be heading to our part time jobs at McDonalds, burger king, Arby's and my favorite place, Welcome to Wal-Mart! Hell who's has 25 grand saved up? Can I move in with them?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  213. Dewey

    Soylent Green.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  214. Timbo

    "It's estimated a 65-year-old retiree needs $1.1 million dollars in savings to draw $50,000 a year." That's going to eliminate a good portion of the American public retiring at 65. Perhaps 75 is the new 65 in retirement age poeple.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  215. Rajiv Shaw

    Like Congress, we will be supported by taxpayers.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  216. Jonah

    I already headed to Panama. The government makes life easy for American retirees with Social Security income. I live on a beach, 15 minutes outside a vibrant major international capital (Panama City). There's a brand new Johns Hopkins hospital and I couldn't spend my entire check every month if I tried. There are lots of Americans leaving America, it's really the only reasonable solution. If you're 55 and don't already have your million bucks, quit dreaming. You ain't never gonna see it.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  217. Joseph

    They can do like many Americans and head to south america and live Great for less then $1000.00 a month like I will asap.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  218. John Martin

    Look at Europe. That is where we are going. What do we expect when everyone thinks they should get healthcare, housing, and everything else for free? The entitlement mentality has gotten completely out of control in America. We don't think we should have to pay for anything. We think we can buy a $650,000 house on the beach where we can't get insurance. FEMA will write us a check when the hurricane wipes us out. We don't save for retirement. We think Social Security will take care of us, completely ignoring the fact that most who rely on SS alone live in poverty. We had better wake up and stop expecting the nanny state to take care of our every need.

    And you are reading the words of a lifelong registered Democrat.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  219. Sean Cawley

    Personal finances have changed in the past few years. Simply making ends meet is what matters now. Savings is the last thing on most hard workers' minds. This trend will most certainly continue.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  220. Nolan

    This just goes to show you that the middle class is an endangered species. If congress can stop spending money by spoiling the billionaires who give them donations, they could listen to Alan Simpson. People think that a few billion dollars is a crippling cut to the defense fund, but that's a drop in the bucket, since we out spend more of our money on defense than the next 14 biggest countries COMBINED. Some of this money needs to be shifted to social security, or else their could be dire consequences. Have you ever heard of the great depression?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  221. dan

    This will be the defining moment for this generation – thousands in food lines with no homes and many will be elderly, will then mkke a huge gut check social shift to correct, maybe take a full generation to correct. This will be a harsh lesson.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  222. Tom in Canada

    Perhaps the only good news is that as the US sinks to 27th in the world in life expectancy far less will need to worry about a retirement at all. A rather sobering consequence of decades of letting the corn and pharmaceutical lobbies direct policies leading to chronic obesity and illness.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Here we go again with polls and truth. I have faith that those asked were providing what the pollsters wanted to hear. It is not what the folks have in the banks and financial sector as those are probably not trusted with more than 25 K$ of spending money. I think the real assets of folks are "grounded" or burried in holes in the ground, a place they can trust. This is called ssuirreling it away. You could also call it a tax shelter. Have the sales of shovels increased....more than hybrid cars ? We should find out. People know that "retirement" is an oxymoron, like military intelligence. I just had a thought....where is my shovel ?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  224. gecoble

    It is funny how everyone blames someone else for this problem. The real issue is that we do not teach responsible savings and spending practices as a nation. I agree with RandyinDC that we think we are entitled to a certain standard of living. Don't blame those who are rich; they saved their money! One person in this post called gum a necessity. Really?

    Want to retire at the level proposed by Jack, then put away $5280 per year. This assumes 9% annual rate. In 40 years, you would have $1.1MM. That is $440 dollars a month or $102 per week. This doesn't even consider if your employer kicks in a match!

    Don't live beyond your means. Stop blaming others for your problems.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Robert

    It means that wheather we like it or not, the future labor shortage that economists talked about 5 years ago is alraedy history.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  226. Susan from Idaho

    I would say it means we will be lowering the average lifespan for Americans considerably.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Bill

    They're all headed to Mexico and India, to find our jobs.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  228. Annie, Atlanta

    According to some of the responses here, we should just get rid of welfare and socialism. I guess we just let Americans drop dead, huh? That's great. I wonder how much money would be in our coffers if we got rid of the welfare and socialism we hand out to the corporations and banks. We're talking about a means for Americans who have no other way to shelter and feed themselves, while we hand out tax breaks and subsidies to multi-billion dollar corporations, yet once again the right wing noise machine fills the ignorant with nonsense about welfare queens and socialist presidents. When will they inform the taxpayers how many trillions it took to bail out the banks who caused this mess to begin with? Or remind them how the banksters rewarded themselves afterward with billions in bonuses. It's really sad how uninformed we've become, and how fine we are with our ignorant bliss.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  229. Jess K

    My generation (I turned 32 last week) has long known that we will die working, or trying to find work. Not only are we the first generation in America to earn less than the previous we have also watched what would be our social inheritance spent on tax cuts that were billed as a "refund" for a budget surplus and two wars which twisted that surplus into unfathomable debt. Whether we like it or not, the Republican dream of a country with no social safety net is a very likely reality. So much for leaving a better world for your children.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  230. marybeth, massachusetts


    I know that some people don't have savings because they didn't save, didn't understand the difference between "need" and "want", lived beyond their means. But what about the many, many people who did follow the rules, who put money into savings only to watch the interest rates drop to less than 1%, who found that their employers took away their pensions (or stopped offering them to newer workers), put their money into 401(k)s, only to find that the value of their 401(k)s have plummeted because of the stock market. Wages stagnated beginning in the 1970's, while the cost of housing (renting or buying) skyrocketed, plus the cost of gas, insurance, food, car (necessary to get to work) and other expenses go up every year. Now, add to this scene a spouse who lost a job, or who has had to take a cut in pay, or even if both are working, I bet at least one has not had a raise in 5 years, while the cost of living goes up and the amount taken out of your paycheck increases. That means you took a paycut. When you take a paycut, it means you can't save because more and more of your paycheck goes for day to day living expenses, and I mean the basics, NOT a new car (can't afford a new car), vacations (what's that?), plasma tv (my tv is 20 years old), no computer, no cell phone, no internet (except at the public library). They don't buy things for themselves.

    We're headed towards a republican Nirvana–where the vast majority of the people of this country will be poorer than the serfs of the middle ages, poorer than a character in a Dickens novel, while the very small minority have all of the land, money, and power. While the republicans and Wall Street masters howl with indignation over "class warfare", they're not saying that they have been waging a successful class war against the middle class for the past 30 years. These past 30 years have seen the largest transfer of wealthy UPWARDS to those who already have the most. To me, that is class warfare.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  231. Bill Mosby

    It's going to be rough for a lot of people, and probably therefore for everybody, if only because of having to step over all those dead boomers. I guess I can say that because although I did about 10x better in terms of savings than the people this article is about, I'll probably become a speed bump myself in 15 years or so. But I'll be 77 then so it would be about time anyway.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  232. BCC

    Elderly Americans who didn't save or don't have a pension will live in poverty but hopefully the next generation learns from our mistakes stay in school, work hard and pay themselves first. Choose your careers wisely. Remember nobody who has achieved any wealth is looking to give an able body person a hand out nor will the government regardless of party choose to spend our tax money wisely so take care of yourself first.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  233. LA Belle

    You're taling about living the high life, drawing $50 K per year.

    Somebody did somebody wrong, and everbody is paying for it.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  234. Banes

    As we slide into expensive chronic illnesses euthanasia comes to mind. Kinder than dying ill and homeless.
    When the compassionate conservatives realize the economic potential - well, watchout.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  235. CJ in San Diego

    Two layoffs (including the current one) have eaten away my 401K (now at 99% of what it used to be – get it?). No one will hire someone in their 60's. I'll have to take my SS and pension at 62 and hope that I don't need medical care until I can get Medicare at 65. And they want to up the retirement age

    December 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  236. lgny

    It can be done through a combination of frugal life and good luck.
    Take "staycations", enjoy local free events.
    Buy only what you truly need and keep it until it's worthless.
    Buy a home and live in it for 30+ years, get yourself mortgage free as fast as you can.
    Do nearly all of our own repairs and maintenance and home improvements.
    Constantly improve your work skills, making yourself more valuable to employers.
    Don't get laid off.
    Don't get a major illness or injury.
    No disasters (floods, tornados, ...)

    December 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  237. Aston

    I think it's time to stop blaming corporate America for the average American's overconsumption for the past 30 years. Buy a small house. Drive well maintained used cars. Don't eat out so much. Exercise and stay healthy. Lose the cable. Lose the cell phones and the data plans. Spend quality time with your kids and family. Live. Your savings will skyrocket. Retirement will be lovely.

    Or you can continue to buy new cars every few years. Spend enourmous amounts of money to heat and cool your McMansion. Spend ungodly amounts of money on property taxes. Eat out 3-4 times a week and get fat, then have health issues. Pay for cable you don't watch. Pay for smart phones and the data plans so you're linked up! Miss your children growing up. Live paycheck to paycheck. Lose everything from a minor job loss. Or work until your nothing more than a wheezing bag of bones.

    Your choice.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  238. Ryan in Detroit

    That's really a testament to how ill-prepared the current work force is for retirement. The boomers will only continue to suck more and more out of the entitlements programs in the coming decades and force my generation (I'm sixteen) to foot the bill. Without clear reform in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as significant deficit reduction the current financial situation is totally unsustainable.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  239. Sherry

    I’m currently one of the UN/under employed US citizens that have been out of (full time) work for over 2yrs. I am a woman over 45 living in Charlotte, NC; I have no home anymore, no savings or 401k waiting for me, no job and no bright future for me either. I have noticed when called in for interview I’m being over looked and others in the same age group also. I have some college experience with over 12 years hands on knowledge of computers hardware/software and IT networks. I am very discouraged and want to give up but, I keep hoping and praying that the president will make a change soon that I, and people just like me will get help. …how do you not give up?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  240. Albert in Florida

    If you ruin the education system and allow advertisers to teach people how to spend money with banks assisting with easy credit, you will end up with more than half the Country with less than $25,000 saved. Blame the people all you want, but that is what they were taught by people that should know better.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  241. Shadi from Chapel Hill, NC

    Where are we as American's headed given that more than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in savings? The question takes me back to my recent visit to Shanghai where I was fortunate to attend lecture's given by many of the world's most respected businessmen, economists, and university leaders. A common theme throughout virtually all of the discussions? China will produce the world's largest economy, a position long held by the United States, within the next 5 years. This report serves to strengthen that idea. My hope is that our government and citizens come together after a resolution to our long fought war on terror to rebuild our infrastructure, economy, and–for many military families–their lives. God bless America.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  242. Ken Smith

    Jack: No problem. Those that have more than $25,000 will share their wealth with those who do not in a race to the bottom.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  243. ronster

    After working low paying jobs my entire life, I already know how to survive on just a social security check. If you've worked 40+ years, you should have your home paid for. Everything else, don't buy it if you don't have the money. All the stuff people complain about now, underwater mortgages, massive debt, etc, has never affected me. There are probably quite a few people that have worked lousy jobs their entire lives with little savings that will be ok. We know how to get by because we've always had to.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  244. Mike M. Scappoose, OR

    "Conor in Chicago" I agree except it's not Class Warfare when the 1% have all the weapons?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  245. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    As a nation, we don't save. The end result is predictable with extreme clarity. I hope we don't end up with countless thousands on the dole.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  246. Derek from Richland, WA

    They are headed for the gov't dole! Looks like the 1% won't have a choice but to pay more soon.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  247. JoeSeatle

    Jack –

    They're going back to work, which is where anyone who hasn't planned for retirement belongs. Of course, most of them will find some reason to say it's my fault.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  248. Ken P

    Where are we headed?

    Why should we be concerned with citizens following the example of the government?

    December 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  249. Mike

    Those that don't accept the responsibility for their actions are going where they deserve – working more hours, working additonal years, and soaking off of us that arre considered "rich". It's a pretty simple equation – spend less than you earn – live below your means and you'll be fine. I'm 36 have $600K saved away for retirement and house will be paid off when i am 45. Sure – I could move up and be tied to a mortgage for another 20 years, but why – to keep up with the Jones? My cars run – get me from point a to b and are 5 – ad 10 years old. No car payments for the last 5 years. I don't need a TV, cable etc (internet works just fine)- i get outside and play, workout, enjoy life, etc. I don't need an Iphone and $150 cell phone bill – my phone makes calls just fine.

    It is all about choice – those whining are making the wrong decisions.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  250. Val in Ohio

    Jack, It means that this country is headed straight towards Third World status in short order. With roughly 16% in poverty and another 50 million in near poverty, one third of the country is already in dire straights. With this great deficit in personal savings, things are poised to deteriorate rapidly to the point of decimating much of our middle class.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  251. Jh1289

    Kentucky state government employee here. Despite constant attacks on my salary and income, I should retire with about $37k a year. It's not great, but better than a lot of idiots starting a 401k at 40 years old thinking they'll retire in 20 years.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  252. John

    I took early retirement to avoid the impending layoffs, which I did not want to do. My company was getting rid of older workers. I play the ponies to supplement my income, this is something I must do in for me to survive. Fortunately I am an experienced handicapper.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  253. jdoe

    The GOP solution: Eliminate Social Security and Medicare, and tell seniors "Good luck".

    December 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  254. Greg

    Just retired. I did it by getting out ogf debt, staying out of debt, Saved my money. And I am only 60. Started another job the day after I retired, not because I had to but because zi wanted to.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  255. DMoneyx2


    December 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  256. Jim Brown

    When it comes to laying blame, Americans need only look in the mirror. Our retirement plan (20 years in the making) is right on track even with occassional setbacks. It included paying into retirement and saving accounts first, paying off bills and mortages second and not buying a house we couldn't afford, a new car everytime we got tired of the old cars, stuff we really didn't need, and our 3 kids all graduated from colleges we and they could afford (they worked while going through college).
    Jim in Arkansas

    December 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  257. Andy

    Start saving when you get your FIRST job, and do so your entire life. Live below your means, always pay yourself first (save and invest for the long term balancing risk). Don't count on anyone, expecially the government. Fight going into debt. If you cannot do these things with one job, work two jobs. If you buy a home, pay it off as soon as you can. Bingo.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  258. Robert W. North Carolina

    Seems to me they will be working until they can not work anymore. I would like to retire but who wants to sit around till you die anyway? Staying active when they can do that keeps a lot of people going longer. Funny thing, some younger people complain that the boomers did not pay enough into social security. How about trying to give them the same amount they paid in back to them in a lump sum. I think most of these boomers would be very happy as they went to invest that amount.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  259. Bob

    The US and its' citizens can't have it both ways... On the one hand we are being criticized for our poor savings habits, but on the other hand we are set up to spend spend spend. The US hasn't figured out if and how to be a nation of consumers and at the same time manage to save at an acceptable rate.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  260. jdoe

    Most people can't retire early even if they want to. Good luck trying to find affordable health insurance outside of employment in your late fifties. The current employer-dependent health care system is needs to be abolished.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  261. Chris

    When you say that you need $1 million in savings, I'm assuming that you are not taking into consideration that some have pensions that will provide for a portion of their retirement. I do not need $1 million in savings, but I have a fairly good pension. It would appear that I am one of the lucky ones.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  262. Ron (Denver)

    Lack of foresite and siscipline, plain and simple. I am a baby boomer, and I have almost enough with 10 – 12 years left to work. I save the max in my 401k every year, not matter what comes up. We still go on vacation, we only buy what we need and we live within my means. And, we am paying for my grand kids private schooling.

    Everyone (all ages) has been duped by business and marketing into believing they "need" all their products. Give them up. Save and invest conservatively, pay off your house and then save the mortgage payment toward retirement. It adds up fast.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |