Recent studies have shown that for people under the age of 55, a substantial portion of them, 65 percent, do not think that the money they’re putting aside now will last them through retirement. For people over the age of 55, that number drops to 45 percent, but it is still quite a lot, especially if one has been meticulous about their savings.
Concerning those above the age of 45, the split in attitudes comes with a number amount: about 75,000 dollars in retirement funds saved. The difference is clear. $75,000 seems to be the natural amount one would have if they had been saving diligently for their future financial security. When nearly half the people surveyed fall below this target amount, it suggests that something addressing retirement savings, in general, must be done.
More statistics reveal an even bigger issue: of those with less than 75,000 dollars saved for retirement, 3/4ths of them do not think what they have managed to save so far will last them through the rest of their lives. This is in opposition to people with over $75,000 in their accounts, where that number of those concerned is only a 1/3rd. This is the dilemma of Generation X. They are the first demographic less likely to have a pension than those who had come before them, making them wholly responsible for their own retirements.
Social Security may have to pick up the brunt of the difference, should people not have enough to live on once they reach retirement, with estimates putting it at nearly 62 percent of their projected income. The people with over $75,000 in the bank are much more optimistic, with Social Security expected to only make up a fourth of their take-home amounts, the remainder based on a mixture of annuity, pension, and other savings.
The main divide between these two camps seems to be two-fold: what the person currently makes, and what their pension looks like. Higher incomes and secure pensions mean less worry. In addition, people under the $75,000 mark also tend to have more debt, which usually takes precedence over savings.
So what can be done?
There are few steps a Gen-Xer or anyone can take to help ease some of the retirement burden, today. The most obvious step would be to enroll in a good retirement plan with a rate high enough that, extrapolated, could cover your base living expenses in your retirement. This could all be automated in most cases. Couple this with further education in terms of how and where to save your money might alleviate some of the retirement anxiety.