In a sign of trouble to come, a new survey finds that most Americans aren’t keeping up with retirement savings.
The monkey in the wrench, of course, is sky-high inflation that’s cutting into people’s incomes.
The Bankrate survey finds that 55% of Americans say their retirement savings are lagging their future financial requirements.
Nearly 35% say they’re “significantly behind” on their savings, and another 20% say they’re “somewhat behind.”
“Those who already feel behind are twice as likely to be contributing less this year than workers who feel they’re on track or ahead of where they should be,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.
This is an understandable development. Millions of Americans are now getting by paycheck to paycheck.
But a shortage of retirement funds in coming years will imperil many people on fixed incomes who may have difficulty paying the rent or affording food and/or medicine.
“Workers who are not contributing more to their retirement accounts this year overwhelmingly point to inflation as the reason why, and by more than a 2-to-1 margin over any other single response,” McBride said.
Making matters more uncertain, some Republican politicians have suggested they’ll seek cuts to Social Security and Medicare if they retake control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections.
Difficult as it may seem, it’s vital that people continue setting money aside for their latter years. Even if it’s just $10 a month, that’s better than nothing.
Meanwhile, our lawmakers need to recognize the looming financial crisis impacting seniors, and must act to ensure more and more people don’t slip through the cracks.
That was the promise of Social Security when it was established in 1935. It was also why most employers offered pensions at one time.
Those days are gone. And if you don’t look after your own well-being, there’s a growing possibility no one will.