42% of Americans have less than $10k saved for retirement


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/06/42-of-americans-have-less-tha.html


I am actually half way to my retirement goals at 44. Technically I am a bit behind, but I had my kids earlier, so I will have more disposable income in my 50’s where my salary base will be much higher than it was in my 20’s/30’s and I can maximize my catch up contributions.

Yes, I work in financial services…specifically retirement.


So, people between the ages of 20 and 35?

The linked article finally clarifies the source of the 42% number in a chart buried halfway down the page.


No. there are A LOT of 40/50 somethings that have nothing saved. They mostly live paycheck to paycheck and do not have the extraneous income to save. and/or also have bad retirement goals…like thinking the $250,000 home they bought at 35 will be increase in value like theiur parent’s home did when it was bought for $30,000 in 1960 and was worth $500k in 2010.

That won’t happen of course, but they are delusional.


I’m certainly not a Millennial, but my retirement plan sucks. (Mostly my own fault, I suppose.) But many of my teacher friends are retiring with good health benefits and decent (ish) income…thanks to teacher unions.


I completely agree that retirement insecurity is a ticking time bomb for the country as a whole.

I only wish the linked article would have focused on the the demographic you mentioned, rather than using Millenials as a stand-in for Americans as a whole.

Retirement insecurity is awful at any age, but it’s considerably less awful for someone in their twenties than for someone in their fifties.


The delusion that I keep hearing repeated is much less optimistic. My friends seem to think that they will be healthy enough to work until they die.

Edited to add. Because of the combined facts that I am older, lucky, have no kids, and am by nature a cheap bastard, I actually have pretty good retirement savings. But unlike many, I understand that to a great degree, ALL of those are necessary, and none of them is sufficient by themselves.


People have savings? /s

Also, spoiler. I don’t have savings at the moment, putting everything into debts. Mostly student debt.


Millennials are just a subset of the total poll. The chart you mention says “More than half of millennials have less than 10k saved for retirement.”, but the poll concludes that “42% of Americans don’t have 10k saved.” More than half would be more than 42%, therefore those are definitely two different data points.


I agree that this is an issue. I got lucky, I went from having virtually nothing in the bank at age 40 to having over half a million in assets at age 60. Most of that was due to not having kids and buying a condo at age 42. Marrying well at age 54 helped.

Edit: I’m not just bragging. My point is that things CAN turn around, if one makes good decisions.


My dispute is with the editorial choice in the article to not give the generational breakout for any other than Millenials.

What are the numbers for Gen X? Baby Boomers?

If the authors have access to the data for all Americans, why not supply the whole breakout, not just the one for Millenials?


funny though…most people look at their 401(k) or IRA (or whatever primary DC/DB accounts they may have) and think…“Yup…I’m gonna be good!”

They fail to calcuate the cost of health coverage in retirement. My employer on top of a fantastic match and annual profit sharing also drops money annually into a retirement health account…sort of a retirement HSA…to assist with those costs. It’s a great benefit and a serious cost people don;t consider. They seem to think Medicare covers everything,


Show me the rich person I’m supposed to marry? No really, do.


I’m honestly surprised that the number isn’t much higher.


I had a decent nest egg, high 5 figures, then my employer’s 401k manager decided to invest everyone in funds comprised of Enron stock. Needless to say, everything was lost. I quit that job soon afterwards, and no subsequent employer has offered a 401k. Now, I mostly try to keep my credit card debt to a minimum and pre-pay a little extra on my mortgage every month. Wish I could save more, but, I’m working a part-time minimum wage job now. I’ve been partially employed/unemployed for about 4 years now and am still looking for full time work like I use to do in the past. I am lucky to still have my house.


Is it too soon to talk about chart layout again?


Fixed that for you.

We are in the “struggling not to fall deeper into debt” column over here. Disability is expensive. Toronto is expensive. Miscellaneous health expenses (not covered by Ontario health insurance) are expensive. :frowning:


Yeah I’m 37 and I just started my 401k. So I’m really behind unlike most. I really hope to have something that’ll cover the food bill but even if I save to the maximum I don’t think I’ll make it.


She wasn’t “rich”, she had 150k in 401k funds. And an average job, which helped pay the mortgage. And no desire for a new car every year, which also helped.

One doesn’t have to be “rich” to be sensible.


I guess only lucky people are capable of buying a condo which appreciated in value over 13 years. Didn’t seem that lucky to me, just sensible, as my rent was being raised $100 per month every year.