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businessinsider - 23 days ago

More than half of Americans think they re behind on retirement savings, and another 20% have no idea where they stand

A whopping 70% of Americans say they re either behind on retirement savings or don t know where they stand, according to a new Bankrate survey. People who earn less than $80,000 a year were the most likely to report feeling behind on their savings goals. Recent data show that Americans in their 40s and 50s, the cohort known as Generation X, are struggling to save. Only 36% of Gen Xers actively contribute to a retirement account. Read more personal finance coverage. Americans are largely behind on retirement savings, and they know it. According to a new Bankrate survey of nearly 2,700 adults, over half of the respondents (52%) said they re not where they should be with their retirement savings, while 16% said they re right on track, and 11% said they re ahead. What s more, 20% of respondents said they have no idea where they fall when it comes to retirement savings progress. The survey found that income plays a big role. People who earn less than $80,000 a year were most likely to say they were falling behind on retirement savings, while people who earn more were most likely to say they re ahead. The high-earners were the least likely group to say they didn t know where they stood. Recent data shows Gen X is struggling most with retirement prep. A previous survey from Insider and Morning Consult found that exactly half of Gen Xers don t have a retirement savings account. That s only slightly less than the share of millennials who don t have one, even though there s a multi-decade age difference. While the Silent Generation and early Baby Boomers have relied on a combination of pension benefits and Social Security to make up their retirement income, Gen X is the first generation that has largely had to assume the responsibility of building up their own nest egg. All told, the Insider and Morning Consult survey found only 36% of Gen Xers are actively saving in a retirement account, while 13% have a dormant retirement account.  Despite record student-loan debt, stagnant wages, and higher than ever housing costs, millennials seem to be doing OK when it comes to retirement savings — or at least, better than the generation before them. A recent Wells Fargo survey found that the same share of millennials and Gen Xers — 14% — have between $25,000 and $100,000 saved in personal retirement accounts.  Getting your retirement savings on track begins by fully utilizing your tax-advantaged retirement savings options such as a workplace 401(k) and supplementing that with an IRA, said Greg McBride, Bankrate s chief financial analyst. Aim to save at least 10% – and ideally 15% – of your income specifically for retirement, McBride said. The best time to start is today, and the worst time to start is someday.
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