Retirement Savings a Thing of the Past

job interview More than a third of Americans expect to be working until the bitter end, if trends in retirement savings are any indication. Thirty-four percent of Americans have no retirement savings and 27 percent have no personal savings, according to a recent Harris Poll.

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Just 18 months ago those numbers were moderately lower, with 30 percent having no retirement savings, and 22 percent not having any personal savings.

Older workers have more of their savings-ducks in a row than younger ones, but the numbers are still low. One in four baby boomers (ages 46-64) have no retirement savings, with 22 percent of those ages 65 and over saving nothing for their golden years.

A full 53 percent of workers who are members of Gen Y (ages 18-33) say they have zero retirement savings squirreled away, and 32 percent of Gen X workers (ages 34-45) say they have nothing saved for retirement. In addition, 32 percent of those Gen Xers say they have no personal savings, while 33 percent of Gen Y workers say the same thing. Many have reported depleting their personal savings while looking for jobs.

An interesting trend discovered by the poll is that younger workers who do have savings are investing them far more conservatively than they used to. It seems Americans across the board, but especially Gen Xers, have had their faith shaken in the stock market, and want their savings to be invested in less volatile ways.

"Current economic conditions seem to be driving somewhat less risky investment behavior by Gen X'ers, which goes against the grain of traditional investment advice," stated Barbara Bertner, vice president of Financial Services Research for Harris Interactive. But members of Gen Y and Gen X have seen their parents put off retirement indefinitely after having listened to traditional advice, so their reluctance to take it is understandable.

Next: Most Americans Unprepared for Retirement: Employers Try to Help

Filed under: Employment News
Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell


Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on

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