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Study: Americans $6.6 Trillion Short of What They Need for Retirement

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 16 Sep 2010 08:15 AM

The budget deficit isn’t the only huge imbalance facing the economy. Americans also are woefully short of the money they will need for retirement.

That’s short to the tune of $6.6 trillion, according to a new study by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.

“The $6.6 trillion Retirement Income Deficit is the gap between the pensions and retirement savings that American households ages 32-64 have today and what they should have today to maintain their living standards in retirement,” says a fact sheet on the website of Retirement USA, which commissioned the study.

That figure assumes an inflation-adjusted 3 percent investment return and no additional cuts in pension coverage or increases in the Social Security retirement age.

"Using other assumptions, it could be much higher," Maria Freese, policy director of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, points out to CNBC.

For example, the deficit surges to $7.9 trillion if the rate of return matches the current 1.87 percent rate on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), the study notes.

Some experts recommend raising the retirement age to save the Social Security system from bankruptcy.

“It should be on the table,” Alicia Munnell, head of the Boston College center told Money magazine.

“We are living longer, and jobs are less physical, so we can work longer. ... It makes sense to index the age of full benefits to longevity.”

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The budget deficit isn t the only huge imbalance facing the economy. Americans also are woefully short of the money they will need for retirement. That s short to the tune of $6.6 trillion, according to a new study by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. ...
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