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Focusing in on Retirement Savings

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 by  in 401(k) Retirement Planning, In the News, Retirement Readiness

According to a recent article by Walter Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times, 3 in 10 Americans who are ages 60-69 have accumulated retirement savings totaling less than $25,000.  In this article, Mr. Hamilton discusses the results of a Yahoo Finance survey which also found that 37% of Americans have no retirement savings at all.  

Are you focused on saving?

Why are there so many people who are unprepared for retirement?  While there could be a number of reasons that contribute to this general lack of preparedness, we feel that the primary reason is a lack of focus on retirement savings.  As a recent article by Scott Holsopple points out, “retirement planning education shouldn’t focus on making each individual an accomplished investor.”  Rather, he says, the emphasis should be focused on savings.  Studies have shown that workers simply don’t know how much they need to save to prepare for retirement.  Clearly the investments a person selects will impact the amount of money that they will have for retirement.  However, those investments, no matter how good, will never make up for the failure to save. 

Unfortunately, many of the unprepared 60-somethings depicted in the study will need to work much longer than they anticipated or will be forced to dramatically scale back their lifestyle to conserve their retirement funds.  After all, Social Security can no longer be counted on to save the day.

No matter their age, workers should be encouraged to focus on saving for retirement today, instead of putting it off until tomorrow.

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