A new report from the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) discovered some harrowing facts about many U.S. workers' retirement savings habits. In fact, the EBRI report discovered roughly 28 percent of respondents admitted they had less than $1,000 saved or invested into their retirement funds.
The nonprofit reached out to 1,003 workers and 1,001 retirees through a telephone survey. The report also found that 57 percent of respondents said they had less than $25,000 saved up for retirement.
Lack of access hurting some Americans
A similar report conducted in 2014 by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research said 88 percent of low-income older Americans put nothing toward their retirement funding or don't participate in a retirement plan of any sort.
"A failure to sign up can't be blamed for the dismal savings rate of this low-income group," the Boston College report stated. "Instead, the problem is that many never get the chance."
"There's still a need for people to practice good saving habits."
The report continued by saying that lack of access to retirement funding is truly hurting those with lower incomes, and starting a program that would force Americans to at least sign up for retirement savings plans could help some people start thinking about saving. On the other side of things, there's still a need for people to practice good saving habits to ensure they can live a well-off retirement without working for another 10 years past the standard retirement age.
Why it's important to start saving immediately
Saving for retirement is something that could help younger generations down the line. What this means is the earlier younger people save, the more chances they have to pursue their dream job in their mid-30s. The Wall Street Journal said many younger people want to land their dream job and work harder to get it than other age groups. By saving for retirement right now, younger people can have more financial leeway to take risks in their 30s to get the perfect job.
The need to start saving money for retirement right now is not just pertinent to younger generations. According to Forbes, retirement saving is critical for everyone, especially since no one knows how Social Security will play out even within the next decade.
"Once you're able to clear the first step, it becomes much easier to start putting money away."
The cost of living is only expected to rise and the benefits from Social Security could not be enough to live a healthy retirement. According to the source, the biggest hurdle is the very first one. It's tough to start saving, but once you're able to clear the first step, it becomes much easier to start putting money away for your retirement nest egg.
Additionally, there will be struggles when you first start saving for retirement. There will be moments when you don't have enough money, or other life events will make you second-guess your decisions to put money away when you need it immediately.
However, it's still critical to start saving as much as you can and as often as possible to give you more freedom in the future.
Start off with what works for you
There's no need to start a retirement fund when you're putting away the majority of your money. According to Forbes, you should start with smaller amounts and get adjusted to knowing part of your paycheck is going toward something beneficial.
Once you get used to saving, you can start to incrementally put more money away for a healthier retirement. You have to start somewhere, and taking small steps to get started with retirement savings is not a bad thing. It's always best to remember that a little savings is better than nothing at all.
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