More than one-third of middle-class Americans are not saving for retirement, according to a new Wells Fargo/Harris Poll
Specifically, 34 percent of the 1,001 middle-class Americans surveyed aren't now contributing any money to a retirement savings vehicle. And among those aged 50 to 59, the total is even higher — 41 percent.
In addition, 31 percent of the respondents say they won't have enough money to "survive" in retirement. And again the number rises for those in their 50s — to 48 percent.
If that's not depressing enough, middle-class Americans say they have saved a median of only $20,000 for retirement, down from $25,000 in 2013.
Nineteen percent of those surveyed have no retirement savings.
When respondents were asked if they would cut spending "tomorrow" in certain areas in order to save for retirement, half said they would: 56 percent say they would give up treating themselves to indulgences like spa treatments, jewelry, or impulse purchases; 55 percent say they'd cut eating out at restaurants "as often"; and 51 percent say they would give up a major purchase like a car, a computer or a home renovation. Notably, fewer people (38 percent) report that they would forgo a vacation to save for retirement.
"Saving for retirement isn't easy. It requires sacrifice, and it's not something people can push off and hope to achieve later in life," Joe Ready, director of institutional retirement and trust for Wells Fargo, said in a statement.
"If people in their 20s, 30s or 40s aren't saving today, they are losing the benefit of time compounding the value of their money. That growth can't be made up later."
Meanwhile, MarketWatch personal finance editor Amy Hoak
cites five common real-estate errors committed by retirees.
- Not downsizing soon enough. Big homes mean big bills.
- Not investing the downsizing proceeds. If you do invest them, you have the opportunity to earn substantial income.
- Not researching an area before relocating. You don't want unwelcome surprises.
- Maintaining two homes. That's a major cash drain.
- Having a mortgage in retirement. That's another major cash drain.
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