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Retirement cash crunch is looming

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

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Updated: May 4, 2013 6:06AM



The U.S. is facing a retirement crisis. The simple fact is that most workers are saving too little to retire, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), which tracks pension issues. And workers are acutely aware of this.

An institute study found that the percentage of workers saving for retirement dropped to 66 percent from 75 percent in 2009. One-third said they had saved nothing for the years when they were no longer working. Of those surveyed, 28 percent had no confidence that they would have enough to retire comfortably and 21 percent were “not too confident.”

So about half of American workers are facing retirement with considerable economic uncertainty, and with good reason: 57 percent of the workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in household savings and investments.

At one time, workers relied on company pension plans, but those have almost disappeared. Those plans have been replaced in part by so-called defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s. Retirees can no longer count on high interest rates on savings for income.

Retirement money has to stretch further because we’re living longer. According to a report by the Society of Actuaries, a male who turns 65 this year can expect to live another 20.5 years, a female another 22.7.

The problem is no less real for being slow-moving, but it’s better to deal with the retirement financial crunch sooner rather than later.

As anyone over 65 can attest, you’re old before you know it.

Evansville Courier & Press



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