One Third Of Americans Have Less Than $5,000 Saved For Retirement

by | Sep 4, 2018 | Experts, Headline News | 47 comments

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    About one in three Americans have currently saved less than $5,000 toward their retirement. That’s a terrifying number considering the instability of the Ponzi social security scheme.

    According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study, the vast majority of Americans, about 78 percent, say they’re “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about not having enough money saved up for their retirement. A shocking 21 percent of Americans have literally nothing at all saved for the future, and another 10 percent have less than $5,000 tucked away, the study discovered.

    According to CNBC News, overall, Northwestern Mutual found that Americans with retirement savings have an average of $84,821 saved, which is far from enough. Experts typically recommend trying to accumulate at least $1 million for a retirement nest egg. Some Americans are more prepared than others: one in four also report having $200,000 or more stashed away, while 16 percent have between $75,000 and $199,999.

    Meanwhile, a new survey from Bankrate finds that 13 percent of Americans are saving less for retirement than they were last year and offers insight into why much of the population is lagging behind. The most popular response survey participants gave for why they didn’t put more away in the past year was a drop, or no change, in income. Americans, on average, also live above their means and often struggle to just put food on the table.  About 40 percent of Americans cannot buy basic necessities. 

    Nearly 51 million U.S. households — or 43 percent — don’t earn enough to cover their monthly bills for housing, food, childcare, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a report released by the United Way ALICE Project. That number includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, along with the 34.7 million families the United Way has dubbed ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Frequently called the “working poor,” the group doesn’t make enough to make it in today’s economy. –Metro

    That number will continue to rise as barriers and regulations brought on by the increasing size and scope of the government continues to keep people from improving their own situation.

    As nations slide closer to socialism and eventually totalitarianism, only the political elites will have any money at all.  Of course, no one is placing the blame where it belongs: squarely on the government’s shoulders.  All blame is on stagnant wages, which wouldn’t be a problem if the government wasn’t constantly devaluing the fiat money they print out of thin air.

    Day-to-day costs continue to soar, and salaries don’t go as far as they once did to cover the necessities, author and executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project Alissa Quart tells CNBC Make It. That makes it more difficult to set aside money for the future.



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      1. Any middle income seniors with ‘savings’ in the bank will lose all of it if they go into a nursing home. That might be why these ‘savings numbers’ poll low.

        • So true,mother in law just spent 10k a month for 14 months because she had savings available. If she had limited funds available her fee would have been adjusted to available resources.

          • Going through a situation with a step parent who fortunately had invested in 1998 in a long term health care policy to pay a certain amount per day if he was in the nursing home.

            Some policies have a 20 – 100 day assessment period to see if this person will really need long term nursing home care and meets their requirements/standards.

            But only covers about 1/2 of monthly costs and the family will have to chip in the rest. Fortunately, his social security and two retirement checks will cover staying there. Will have to pay extra now for the diapers he has to wear and co-payments on meds that he can only get though the nursing which is a state veterans home.

            Some other nursing homes, charge 300.00 to undress,redress, wash clothes, bath, 500.00 if a person’s bowl movement needs to be cleaned up, 20.00 an hour if they have to take a person to the doctor and wait. Other costs that arise.

            Most of you know already about the costs. 10k a month is alot of money and you cannot get not get no other assistance until they have drained all the accounts, taken any family property or other assets. Then a person can get medicaid or some other assistance.

            So, if a young person or couple can be convinced, now is the time to invest in a long term nursing care plan so that all the savings, investments if any will not be extinguished. Based on my recent experience, I would think a married couple or a single person should seek a plan that will pay at least 150.00 a day.

            And that is because of inflation and future costs. But accidents and disabilities can happen any time, any age.

            About as bad as a stock market crash and you lose everything.

            Takes much money to maintain and service nursing homes and how many times have we all complained regarding medical costs?

            It was an eye opening to me. My education started in June of this year.

          • IMO unless there is a medical reason don’t waste money on assisted living. My mom in-law went in one for about a year and deteriorated quickly. Took her out and moved her with family and she is doing great. 84, no meds, walks daily, puzzles, etc. Living with family is best for the seniors.

            • +1 on keeping old people you enjoy out of the death camps.

      2. The hardest part of saving is getting started.

        If you don’t have a budget, you don’t know exactly where your money is going; and more importantly, you have lost control of where money is spent.

        Pay yourself first. Saving is not a hardship, as many make it. It is making sure that you get your piece of the pie. Don’t settle for crumbs after all your bills are paid. Most people spend their money on food, shelter, entertainment, transportation, health, misc., then save what’s left. Unfortunately, in most cases, nothing is.


        • Stupid headline; Better than 1 in four are Children.
          there was a time when people in NEWS knew how to write or Edit.

        • B, you just nailed it about saving. Once you’ve gotten started, it’s easy. It’s been easier for me than most other people because I’m not paying off on any kind loans, credit cards, etc. I’ve always bought cars for cash only. Sure it takes a long time to save money depending on what your goal is and how much money you need to make it happen, but it’s not impossible. Too many people don’t get their priorities straight. As for entertainment, I’ve got a bunch of CDs and an old boom box CD player. I use a portable DVD player for my movies or I look at movies on youtube. No TV service for me. Nothing on there I want to see. I haven’t been to a damn theatre in 15 years. I eat out usually just once a month. I have a refrigerator in my office at work that I keep a few groceries and some bottled water in. The rest of the time I take my meals at home. There’s a more than few things that can be eliminated in order to save money for some preps. Too many sheeple out there who’ve been brainwashed into thinking Uncle Scam will come riding to their rescue on a white horse when disaster hits. Ask the people in New Orleans how well that worked for them right after Katrina. Or the morons in NY/NJ in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. If you’re going to cry for ANYONE to rescue you from a disaster, then you’re ALREADY screwed royally.

          • I thought it read “Americans have less than 5000rnds saved.”

            Then I thought of you…

            • Combined? There’s probably 5000 rounds stuck under the back seat of the car. Everyone ought to have a couple thou per rifle, or maybe think about getting rid of it to someone who will supply it properly.

      3. 1/3 of Americans broken down by age grouping would be nice to know.

        I’m willing to bet that virtually all 18 year old Americans have practically nothing saved for retirement and would be living in abject poverty if they retired today.

        I’ll bet they don’t even have retirement accounts, much less make regular contributions to them.

      4. A gazillion years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth…and I being officially a young unmarried man with a decent job with benefits, in my first year I saved about $5,000 toward retirement.

        Then again, how many wait to get married? Instead, the reverse was true where goofy unprepared young people got married at age 18-21.

        It once was easy to do so by being frugal.

        Now, I doubt more than 1% save any money at age 21 toward retirement. If you save from age 21-31 and then quit saving….it equals starting at age 32-65 due to interest and compounding your savings. What is hard is selling the idea to your wife when young because all of the related expenses of being married like insurance, mortgage, an extra car or truck, and countless childcare costs.

      5. The rate of inflation outstrips any interest rate on traditional savings. Better to have your money invested. The retirement savings accounts are a tempting target for some of the scumbags on the American financial scene. They haven’t stolen it yet but they’ll get to it.

      6. The rate of inflation outstrips any interest rate on traditional savings. Better to have your money invested. The retirement savings accounts are a tempting target for some of the scumbags on the American financial scene. They haven’t stolen it yet but they’ll get to it.

      7. If you only could teach young people, but they will never listen. We could save them so much misery, but they sort of insist on youth exuberance and making their own mistakes.

        If you could back in time and delay marriage for five years, and be very frugal for that time period, then needless divorce would likely not happen. You could easily wait and then buy an inexpensive homestead and spend the majority of your time fixing it up and raising crops and livestock.

        You then would most likely marry a younger lady as well. I think ideally a wife should be 18-21 if you are age 26 or so. Guys need that time to get seasoned enough to be a good husband and a father.

        And then, the rest of savings would be easy.

        I was a tightwad and I wasted lots of money on stupid things like going to the movies, silly novels, pointless dates,useless clothing or gear, etc.

        Pity the moron buying new cars to massage his ego.

        It’s lunacy for Americans to move every seven years, but that was once routine, and thus equity did not build.

        • how can you be a “tightwad ” and “waste lots of money on stupid things like going to the movies, silly novels, pointless dates,useless clothing or gear, etc.

          tightwad = a mean or miserly person.
          synonyms: miser, cheapskate, penny-pincher, skinflint, Scrooge

          perhaps you meant spendthrift = a person who spends money in an extravagant, irresponsible way.
          synonyms:profligate, prodigal, squanderer, waster

          • I generally was a tightwad and didn’t spend money, but in my youth I foolishly spent money on those things, but not to the extremes like my peers.

            I lived frugally and rarely spent money on myself once I married and especially after becoming a father.

      8. I don’t want to sound like an uncaring
        person but perhaps they should not retire.
        I retired at age 55. I do not receive any
        government money(although I’m now eligible for SS).
        I live very humbly. I pay taxes, I pay for my
        wifes medical insurance.
        In other words I planed for an early retirement
        when I was a young man. I’ve had boats, houses,
        and acreage, so I didn’t suffer.
        I was making more money than my dad was when I was 16.
        Full disclosure; He had been laid off and I was
        building boats and worked in a liquor store, he had a mortgage and only charged me $50 for room and board.

        I have a lot of compassion for people that have been kicked
        when they are down eg. divorce, layoff, death, things you don’t generally have a lot of control over.
        I don’t have a lot pity for people that pissed their money
        away on new cars, big houses, BA degrees in LGBTXXXX studies, and vacations to exotic places.

        You need to set priorities. My biggest priority is not paying
        for the stupidity of poor Democrats.

        • Well, it sounds like you better stop paying taxes then 😉

          • I pay my taxes once per year. If I could get several million people to join me I’d be happy to not send a check
            on April 15th.
            But too many people are on the left side of the intelligence bell curve.

        • Unfortunately the Gov’t scum steal and plunder our paychecks for what 40% give or take and then they burn the $$ like there is no tomorrow. We should ALL stop paying income taxes and any other tax we could get around, screw them – they do Not deserve it period.

      9. Get ready for the population explosion set to take place in about 2 yrs from now and continuing on into the next few decades.

        • Soylent Green.

      10. Unless you’re independently wealthy, retirement has become a LUXURY. I knew back in the 90s that I would be working until I drop. I’m 61 and will be eligible for SS next year but if I try to collect any of it at 62 I get penalized. So I’ll just wait until I’m 66 [IF WE STILL HAVE A COUNTRY AT THAT TIME]. My biggest priority has been to prepare for what’s coming to this land. I’ve got enough preps in storage for 4 years. I’ve always invested money into what matters the most to me and never on any kind of junk. Whoever doesn’t prep is inept.

      11. But the picture painted from the top is that everything with the economic situation is going along great. Don’t distract with negativity or people might get upset at their short and long term prospects for financial advancement. The people realize that they have been had and that the future looks bleak but feel powerless to imagine a way forward because there isn’t one by design. The worst of human nature wins.

      12. No point in saving. Just draw social security. hide assets and receive the Free rent and energy assistance, Food stamps and Free health care. It don’t matter the government doesn’t pay for such things with Tax dollars. The pay for it with created out of thin air Digital Petro Dollars. Milk the government teat. And store up a hoard of food and preps for when the freebees are no more.

        • I’ve been looking for some government titties. I want to go infantile on those boobies.

        • Gonna be whole buncha freebies for the forseeable future. There is so much cheese stockpiled in the US they can’t export any more…no one wants it.

          “Free Shit Farmy”.With the tariffs, the government will be subsidizing the farmers even more and buying the surplus to give to the food programs. How do you make a farmer go broke? Nail his mailbox shut.

          And you’re right. It’s all paid for in ones and zeros entered onto a computer. Taxes go down…debt and deficit go up. Ain’t it grand?

      13. If 1/3 does not have $5K, I would wager 50% do not have $10K.

      14. The good ole days of the riding “Gravy Train” are about to come to a screeching halt, with every illegal like ravenous locust invited to suck the government teet breaking the back of the working poor..even those who have tried to get out of debt, & save a little, still will not be spared suffering in the end

      15. Drop $4500 on vacation twice a year and still put away$. You fucked up big if you hit retirement with less than 5k. I’d like to know what percentage of these retirees used drugs smoked cigs weed drank for years. They bought new cars and pissed $ they could’ve saved for later in life. Who’s fault is that. These same people make fun of my old junk truck that starts every time and tell me I’m cheap. Your only poor if you want to be.

      16. When you are very young, you have very unrealistic expectations, say based upon Hollywood illusions of actors that seem to portray your similar experiences but then they can travel to exotic locales, drive much finer cars, wear much more expensive clothing, and their characters live in homes that are 3 times more expensive versus their income.

        This is ruinous. It’s a total waste of money and for no valid reason.

        Yet it was not uncommon once to take a year off and travel in Europe or study abroad.

        You know, it is a great mystery of neuroanatomy, psychology, and consciousness that we persist over time as an indvidual,yet our memories and experiences and maturity levels are so dramatically different within that sea of dynamism. Who you are at 16, at 25, at 31, at 36, at 42, at 50, at 61, these can be so unique that you hardly seem to be the same person.

        While you might spend a fortune at 21 traveling somewhere overseas, I honestly doubt you have the maturity to comprehend the experience in the totality of culture differences, history, variances in ecosystems, language, anthropology, etc.

        Youth is wasted on the young as there is no way to actually fathom this rich education of travel.

        When I look back, it’s the frugal experiences where either I or my wife or children lived simply that was far more important versus spending a fortune on eating out or wasting money.

        Unless you’re in the Navy then I doubt you can have the opportunity to travel extensively overseas. Or if you are very altruistic, you can commit to the Peace Corps in basically one tiny village and try to make a difference.

        Otherwise it’s far better to wait until you’re 45 or older to travel.

        To genuinely study a language to be a literate person, does REQUIRE living internationally. It’s worthless to study Spanish, Japanese, or Arabic unless you actually live there and only speak that language. Your kids studying French or German in high school and while at a university state side is moronic. Don’t waste the money. Let them do an immersive experience so they can actually carry on a conversation. And this doesn’t have to be expensive. Germans laugh and even mock the quality of Americans learning German in the USA. It is utterly futile and of no value.

        The most valuable personal expense was self-learning bushcraft, learning through dedicated mentors, and spending some money to go visit and learn directly from noted experts. I consider that money well spent.

        I absolutely believe in education in a natural setting and acquiring practical ancestral skills. Sometimes you get lucky by networking and learning through the kindness of strangers who become valued friends.

        If you honestly want to learn useful martial arts, move somewhere so you can daily get rigorous jujitsu experience by actual grappling. Otherwise you just are wasting time and money. This would be like trying to learn to hunt from a book. This is why some guys intentionally join the Marines and get stationed in Okinawa. Some sensei are maniacs there and will take you on in goju-ryu as an example but that is a notable karate style that fosters great strength and practical ability. There are cheaper alternatives now even in America due to mixed martial arts which came out of jujitsu,particularly Brazilian Gracie jujitsu.

        I knew lots of guys who totally wasted money chasing worthless women, running up bills in bars, taking these women out to eat, buying them expensive dresses, and what an abject drain on finances. In effect this is basically prostitution.

      17. Five thousand shekels sure ain’t much these days.

      18. Yep welfare for farmers in the form of support payments. Welfare for big companys with bail outs and interest free loans they never have to pay back. Free money to other countries in the forn of foreign aid. The pandering and giving of goods and services to illegals. The situation of Fiscal Irresponsibility by the government will never change. So why not game the system? We are a Venezuelia waiting to happen. Why save and let inflation robb you?

        • Inflation is exactly right. I don’t know how these people sleep at night if saving in dollars or stocks. I don’t think they really understand.

      19. Go back in history to 1920. Back then, Americans lived in an ancestral home, almost certainly a rural farm. The owners of the deed were essentially retired but gave sound practical advice on agriculture or how to engineer some aspect. Their son and his wife ran the farm and made these structural repairs as maintenance. The son’s oldest often married and lived there are helped on the farm and learned the family business.

        In such a multigenerational home, there is both eldercare and childcare that is shared by all. And in return, the home and farm is passed along. And so there is mortgage. And once there was no utility bill either.

        The healthcare needs were mostly done within the family, and their raised medicinal herbs and batterers wild edibles of which some were medicinal. On rare occassions, a local midwife helped with difficult pregnancies. Otherwise a rare home visit by a family practice doc would come especially with accidents.

        Most people did not not attend universities as there was no need unless they wanted to be a physician, a lawyer, or a pastor.

        Ladies did not work outside the home. They were honest homemakers and Proverbs 31 wives and mothers.

        Single guys might get a job helping on the ranch. These were unlucky fellows whose parents owned no farm. But often they were given a portion of livestock and bred these to save up to essentially start their own business.

        People fixed their own wagons and these were pulled by horses. Rarely did people buy a car or truck as they couldn’t justify the expense.

        They hunted,trapped, and fished on their own land. They cut down trees on their own property and used that lumber to enlarge their homes.

        Such frugal rural living meant little homelessness. There was little crime exceptfor rare crimes of passion. Divorce was very rare.

        But hey, keep believing the postmodern illusion of urbanization and specialization. It makes each successive generation more impoverished. Why? It ignores basic common senseby sending consumers into urban areas where they all artificially raise demand for shiny toys they do not need, that they cannot make themselves, nor fix when they break.

      20. In 1920, 50% of Americans lived in rural villages and essentially lived as tribes. The specialization that began with Manifest Destiny and homesteading resulted in a need for blacksmiths, a school teacher who ran a one room school for all ages, a merchant who was a sole proprietor of a general store, a livery, a wheelwright, a physician, a sheriff, a lawyer, a pastor, etc.

        Very few of these folks could solely work outside their home and farm. Much of the work was part-time and meanwhile they often built modest single floor homes and added on when they got married and had children. The first things they built were wells and barns and a workshed and a rootcellar. Sometimes they built a stormcellar.

        All of that was their investment as few would risk gambling in commodities or the stock market. Then whatever they had improved passed to heirs. And if you had no heirs, you might help out a spinster niece to help her long enough that she found a husband, or she ended up becoming a caregiver and inheriting the homestead.

        There was no social security. People were healthier but died earlier. And if you think about it, do you really want to live past age 75? Why? For what purpose?

        If you are a Christian, yourlife is not your own, and the goal is to go home to Jesus.

        It’s creepy to live in a nursing home. The average person dies in two years because in my opinion it is so disorienting and causes abject loneliness and so those poor souls just give up.

        If you are facing that, then why not cut a deal with a young person to help you stay at home in exchange for room and board and minor assistance? You also could figure out ways to invest in fixed income investments to pay them a stipend.

        Lots of elderly folks could hire relatives to cook and clean for them and then die at home. And if childless, then put them in the will as a partial or full heir.

      21. I certainly want to live past 75. Ive got very young great grandchildren. I want to live long enough to see them mature and see what they become. To be around to possibly help them. Today I have a two year old and a three year old here that Im baby setting. Im enjoying playing with them.

        • You are a very wealthy man indeed.

      22. Honestly what happens to most Americans post75 is they end up with major health issues that most often wipes out their savings.

        The average American has a life expectancy of 78.6 years. The average length in a nursing home is 1.5-2 years. The ladies live longer at 80.1 Men die around 73.4.

        There is a very high chance of cancer, heart disease, dementia, respiratory disease, suicide, etc as you get older. All of which will wipe out your savings and cruely harm your spouse.

        The majority of healthcare costs occur in the last month of your life with unnecessary heroic measures being the culprit. In other words, death is inevitable, but physicians foolishly persist because either the relatives insist or they feel they should.

        What a dumb idea.

        The life expectency in 1950 was 65.6 for men and 71.1 for women. Shocking no? In spite of all the drugs, procedures, surgery, nothing has really changed EXCEPT dementia can now make your final years horrible….for you and for your family.

        Now I am healthy. The older you get and still have no medical issues, the longer you live. That sounds horrible. Why would you ever want to outlive others that you love???

        Now go back to what I wrote. The average American guy can fully EXPECT to die at age 73.4 but dismally 1.5-2 years prior he lived in a nursing home and was miserable. Heck no.

        Your best years are behind you and hopefully most save, not for nursing homes,but to help their family live easier lives and be far more comfortable.

        Would you rather make provisions through a trust for grandbabies or spend two cruddy years in a nursing home but see them?

        Now nursing homes were not so common once because people died at home surrounded by love ones,not cared for by strangers. How is this better?

      23. The average life expectancy is 78.6 and that is current data.

        Here is 2012 nursing home data by cohort. The census was about 1.5 million so it’s rather small. Statistically you die prior.

        18 % were 65-74 years old
        32% were 75-84
        45% were 85-94
        9% were 95+

        Most will die before needing nursing home care BUT some are debilitated by illness and cannot be helped by hospitals but instead linger for 1.5-2 years in a nursing home.

        Only 5% stay five years or more.

        Now as that age creeps up, if you are cursed, you watch your kids die before you do.

        If you were 66 years old today, you could draw full retirement but at 62 you get some retirement. It’s not worth it.

        So if guys die on average at 73.4-66 = 7.4 years before croaking.

        Heart attacks are common. So it’s not like 75 is an unreasonable figure. With my health, I could easily live to 90 which is horrible.

        • Well kill yourself then if living long is so horrible and you’re ready to die. We don’t need people like you spewing your garbage.

      24. Now Asian-Americans have it the worst as they generally are longer living folks with an average longevity of 86.7. That is a MAJOR difference and deeply affects retirement and a near certainty of facing nursing homes.

        The worst case scenario is an Okinawan American because worldwide the Okinawans are the longest in longevity.

        For both, the major risk in the men is stomach cancer.

        This is offset by a higher proportion who are professionals ie white collar and thus higher levels of retirement and savings.

      25. Multi generational living is positive IMO and it has lots of benefits for young and old. But there is that old “American Dream” perception that pushes people to move out of the family home or they are shamed to feel like they are losers. The last housing crisis I think might have woke people up to say maybe there are other ways…

      26. How do people figure saving for retirement in dollars or dollar denominated paper assets is going to get then somewhere? The dollar will just devalue to nothing.

        I am moving it all to precious metals for a number of obvious reasons.

      27. You people are disgusting like Maranatha. Don’t any of y’all have faith in God anymore? Or is it all about money for you? You’ve made money your god there for you live for money and you die without. Man’s years are 120 and God will bless you through those years financially health and any other way you need as long as you have faith in him and live for God. Mini of You people are unfortunately blind as Jesus would say.

      28. Neither your silver nor your gold will save you in the time of the wrath of God.

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