Sunday, March 21, 2010
America's Retirement Crisis: A Concise Guide
In one of the most striking articles I've read in a long time, thisweek.com demonstrates just how much of a looming catastrophe America is facing with it's retirement situation. The days of pensions are fading fast, and most Americans are now responsible to save for their own retirement. The problem is, most of us are doing a poor job of it. Consider this simple statistic: 1 in 4 Americans has less than $1,000 saved for retirement. And most Americans dont have a realistic sense of how much they'll need. Frankly, this is a disaster in the making, a ticking time bomb that's getting little attention from our mainstream media.
It's a complex problem with no simple answers. But my own advice to any and all would be this: Eliminate debt, and start putting away something - anything- as soon as possible. Debt is evil. Debt is bondage. Indeed, the Bible itself speaks strongly against debt, and tells us that "the borrower is the servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). America's debt problem has us as a nation headed toward almost certain calamity at some point in the future, but we can do what we can, individually, to cushion the blow to ourselves and our loved ones. To those who aren't familiar with him, I highly recommend personal finance expert Dave Ramsey, and his website, daveramsey.com.
From the article:
One in four Americans has less than $1,000 in his retirement savings account, according to the 20th Retirement Confidence Survey, a new study conducted by The Employee Benefit Research Institute that's sending shock waves through the media. Here's a rundown of how we got into this hole, and what you can do to avoid a bleak retirement:
What's the most important conclusion?
Americans aren't saving enough for retirement, and they don't have a realistic sense of how much they'll need. "People just don't want to think about this," says report co-author Jack VanDerhei. "Everybody thinks they're too young to think about it, until suddenly they're too old to do anything about it."
How bad is the situation?
A frightening 27 percent of workers have saved less than $1,000 for their retirement, and 43 percent have less than $10,000. Only 46 percent of American workers have even figured out how much they need for their Golden Years.
But everyone has something put away, right?
No. According to the study, a significant percentage of workers have saved nothing at all, and only 16 percent are "very confident" they'll have enough money to fund their retirement.
Full article: here.