Notable Retirement Statistics
The trends are concerning, but a focus on planning ahead can help repair them
At a time when the U.S. population is aging more quickly than ever — as baby boomers move toward retirement — the statistics show that many Americans are not prepared to take that next step:
- Nearly 30% of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement, says an Employee Benefit Research Institute study, according to Sue Thompson of isharesblog.com.
- The number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 who filed for bankruptcy rose 178% between 1991 and 2007, Thompson writes.
- "Over the next 20 years, more than 10,000 baby boomers will retire daily," Thompson says, "and by 2050 there will be nearly 90 million senior citizens in the United States. That is more than double today's 40 million figure."
- Seventy-four percent of American workers believe they will need to work during retirement, with 40% of baby boomers expecting to "work until they drop," Thompson's research shows.
- According to Ric Dalberri of RetirementUSA.com, 1% of Americans retire wealthy, 4% retire financially independent, 5% still have to work, 36% retire deceased, and 54% retire broke and dependent on others.
"What causes such poor retirement planning statistics?" Dalberri asks. "Most of the time, it's decisions or lack of decisions, choices, circumstances or priorities that put individuals in their plight. Lack of education, little or no skills, unmotivated, handicaps, health. When seniors reach their retirement, usually, time is a commodity that can't be gotten back."
While Dalberri acknowledges that statistics like these are a "truly sad situation," he adds that "money, new skills and education are still available."
In short, he explains, it's time to turn this situation around. We can start with those nearing retirement, and we can also turn to future generations and urge them to plan ahead. Luckily, local financial institutions are accustomed to helping people plan for retirement. In fact, it's their job to help their customers gain financial independence.
"In order for our retirement planning statistics to improve, we have to improve and teach our upcoming generations to improve so their retirement planning statistics will paint a better and clearer picture," Dalberri writes. "There are many ways for you to be part of positive retirement planning statistics. Seek professionals who are certified to help you with your retirement planning statistics so you don't fall into one of the negative categories."