Young Professionals Save for retirement or spend at The Lift? The millennial's dilemma. (Juice file photo)

Save for retirement or spend at The Lift? The millennial's dilemma. (Juice file photo)

Uh oh: A lot of us have less than $1,000 in retirement

Published on March 18th, 2014 | by Josh Hafner

This from USA TODAY:

Most people have very little tucked away for retirement, and many aren’t even trying to figure out how much they’ll need later in life, a new national survey reveals.

About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60% of workers have less than $25,000, according to a telephone survey of 1,000 workers and 501 retirees from the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates.

Only 44% say they or their spouses have tried to calculate how much money they’ll need to save by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in their golden years, the survey shows. Workers who have done calculations on what they need to save tend to have higher levels of savings than those who haven’t crunched the numbers.

“There’s an incredible difference between those lucky enough to have a retirement plan and those who don’t,” says Jack VanDerhei, the institute’s research director and co-author of the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey. “What’s really striking is that 73% of those without a retirement plan, such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b), have less than $1,000 in savings and investments.”

Retirement plans, kids. If you’re a millennial lucky enough to have one in this wasteland of a job market, use it. You’re already way behind, says finance expert Tahira Hira in my Juice cover story this week. Make it rain all up in that 401(k) now, she says, and you could retire a millionaire. Find out how here.

About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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