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Retirement savings gap widens in the U.S.

Retirement savings gap widens in the U.S.

"Widening Savings Gap"

The latest surveys indicate a steep rise in the amount needed for a comfortable retirement in the United States – a whopping $1.46 million up from $1.27 million in 2023, a surge of nearly 15%. Adjusting to this escalating reality requires careful saving strategies and heightened financial literacy, which includes understanding investments and contingency planning.

As the “magic number” for retirement continues to climb (a 53% increase from the $951,000 required in 2020), so does the gap between the expected amount for retirement and the average savings – a significant $1.37 million difference. This points to a looming issue; while expected retirement savings have surged, the actual savings have declined, indicating that many are not saving enough despite the clear need.

Banking on existing retirement benefits like 401k, Roth IRAs, and social security can lessen the strain, providing tax benefits and a consistent income stream post-retirement. Consultations with financial advisors can further aid in customizing saving plans.

Escalating retirement savings gap in America

However, one cannot overlook the undeniable necessity of early and consistent saving to ensure a financially secure retirement.

However, rising inflation rates and cost-of-living increases compound the challenge of saving. Both are eating into purchasing power and forcing many to dig into their retirement savings prematurely. Seventy percent of poll respondents said they couldn’t boost savings due to inflating everyday expenses, and 42% reported drawing from their retirement savings.

This trend affects low-income households disproportionately, posing potential future crises for these families as they face the risk of poverty in their senior years. Public awareness campaigns, affordable housing initiatives, and financial literacy programs can serve as first steps in resolving this issue.

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Kelly LaVigne, Allianz Life’s vice president of consumer insights, advocates for prudent financial management in these trying times. As prices have increased by 18.49% since 2021 and many households are struggling to keep up due to persistent wage stagnation, the focus must be placed on creating emergency funds and regularly revising financial plans. Many are forced to dip into their savings just to get by, clearly indicating the troubling economic times.

Lastly, LaVigne emphasizes the role of financial intermediaries in providing expert advice and minimizing risk, a sentiment echoed by Allianz Life’s commitment to promoting sound financial practices and fiscal responsibility in the face of a rapidly evolving economic landscape.

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