NEW YORK — You’re not alone if you have next to nothing saved for retirement. But that doesn’t mean you’re in good company.
Almost one-quarter of workers said they and their spouse combined have less than $1,000 saved for retirement, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nearly half of everyone surveyed said they had less than $25,000.
Sure, $25,000 can sound like a lot. But it’s a reasonable goal to have that much stashed away by the time you’re 30 years old.
Someone in their early 30s earning $50,000 a year should have about $30,000 saved, according to one calculator. This it totally doable if that person has been saving 10 percent of their income annually, which is the rule-of-thumb suggested by many financial planners.
But more than one-third of those surveyed said they’re saving less than that.
When it’s time to retire, most people believe they’ll need at least $500,000. (Though, 41 percent couldn’t even guess how much their nest egg should be.)
There’s one big difference between those who are on track and those who aren’t. Most of those workers who said they’ve saved less than $1,000 don’t have access to a savings account like a 401(k) at work.
There are roughly 55 million workers in the U.S. who don’t have access to an employer-sponsored plan. To try to help those Americans, President Obama launched a program called the myRA. It’s a starter retirement account that’s similar to a Roth IRA and sponsored by the federal government. But you can only save up to $15,000 in the myRA, and you can’t invest that money in a diversified portfolio — only in a set of conservative investments.
Some states are also looking to offer retirement accounts which would automatically deduct money from workers’ paychecks. Oregon was supposed to launch an auto-IRA program this year, but it could be held up if Congress rolls back an Obama-era rule that paved the way for these state-sponsored programs.
Despite what looks like a lack of preparedness, 60 percent of people surveyed said they were confident they’ll have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement.