Number of the Day

[Content Note: Poverty; class warfare.]

36%: The percentage of USians 18 or older who have no retirement savings, according to a survey.
More than a third of American adults have no retirement savings, including 14% of those 65 years of age or older, according to a new study released Monday.

The low savings rate for people at or approaching retirement age is alarming, said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for, which conducted the survey.

About a quarter -- 26% -- of those age 50 to 64 haven't started saving for retirement, the survey said; the figure was 33% of people who are 30- to 49-years-old.

Overall, 36% of those 18 years or older have not started saving for retirement, according to the survey of 1,003 adults.

"They still have time to start, but they still have to save so much as a percentage of their income to make up for the years they weren't saving that it puts them in a tough spot," McBride said.

..."There's no better time than the present to start saving for retirement," he said. "This isn't money that's gone. You've just put it aside for your future self instead of spending it on your present self."
I love the idea that all those people could be saving for retirement, but are simply choosing not to.

And, sure, that's probably true for some people. But I suspect that the vast majority of people who have no retirement savings aren't being capricious as much as they are using that money for things they need right now.

There's also the little issue of people who used to have retirement savings, but had to raid it after some sort of emergency or crisis. How many people used to have retirement savings until they needed it to pay medical pills, or come up with balloon mortgage payments, or buy basic necessities after being laid off?

I mean, if I'd had a choice between not being laid off and continuing to save for my retirement and being laid off and having to decimate my savings to live, I can tell you which one I would have chosen.

[Related Reading: Culprits.]

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