Work ‘Til You Drop: Most Americans Say They Won’t Retire

October 25, 2012  |  

Dreams of retiring early are becoming nightmares. According to a new study, Americans feel they won’t be able to retire—at all. “Thirty percent of middle-class Americans, or nearly one in three, say they plan to work until their 80s because they can’t afford to retire earlier,” reports The Huffington Post.  This means people are planning to work their entire lives—as the average American dies at age 78, according to the World Bank.

Harris Interactive on behalf of Wells Fargo surveyed 1,000 Americans about their retirement goals. The middle class is basically disappearing, say some experts, leaving little room for people to save for retirement. “The U.S.’ real median household income, at just $50,054, is roughly at the same level where it was in 1989. While worker productivity has risen 69 percent since 1979, median hourly compensation rose just 6.5 percent during the same time period, according to the Economic Policy Institute,” write HuffPo.

Americans seem to feel they won’t have enough to retire on. And this may be true. Americans need about $1 million in retirement savings to maintain a decent standard of living in retirement, according to Kiplinger.

And even if workers do retire from one job, most say they plan on getting another. “Thirty-nine percent of middle-class Americans said in the Wells Fargo survey that they plan to work in retirement out of financial necessity, according to the survey,” states the article.

There are ways, however, to try to save for retirement even if you have a low income, according to  US News & World Report:

  •  Set up a direct deposit. Have a portion of each paycheck automatically deposited into a 401(k), IRA, savings, or investment account.
  • Redirect your tax refund and tax break. If you don’t need your tax refund for immediate expenses or debts, consider saving a portion of it for retirement.
  • Take advantage of tax breaks. Saving in a retirement account has the added bonus of reducing your current or future taxes.
  • Don’t spend your savings early. Once you begin to build a nest egg, try not to spend any of it before retirement.

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