Fewer than half of Americans saving enough for retirement

While nearly two-thirds Americans report having enough money saved to pay for emergency expenses, fewer than half of non-retirees are saving an amount sufficient to have a desirable standard of living in retirement, according to a new report.

American Savings Education Council, an organization managed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, D.C., and America Saves, managed by the Consumer Federation of America, Washington, D.C., disclose this finding in a sixth annual national survey assessing household savings. The joint report was released as part of the America Saves Week, an annual event sponsored by government, business and non-profit organizations to promote good savings behavior.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the survey respondents say they have sufficient emergency savings to cover unexpected expenses. But only 49 percent of the non-retired say they are “saving enough in retirement” to achieve a desirable standard of living.

The survey also reveals no improvement in the financial condition of families over the past year. Those indicating they spend less than income and save the difference total two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents in 2013, comparable to the 2012 result (66 percent).

Similarly, respondents who say they have sufficient emergency funds represent two-third (65 percent) of those polled this year, as compared to 66 percent in 2012. Among non-retirees, individuals who report saving enough for retirement total 49 percent this year, down from 51 percent in 2012.

The report adds that only about half of Americans have good savings habits:

● 54 percent say they “have a savings plan with specific goals.”

● 43 percent say they “have a spending plan that allows you to save enough money to achieve the goals of your saving plan.”

● 50 percent of those not retired say they “save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan.”

● 41 percent say that, “outside of work” they “save automatically through regular, preauthorized transfers from checking to savings or investments.

● 49 percent know their net worth.

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