Worried About Your Retirement Savings? You're Not Alone

According to a recent survey from AARP,  20% of adults over 50 have no retirement savings, and more than half (61%) are worried they will not have enough money to support them in retirement. The findings also reveal a decline in an overall sense of financial security among men, 42% of whom describe their financial situation as "fair" or "poor," up from 34% in the beginning of 2022. However, roughly 40% of men who are regularly saving for retirement believe they are saving enough, compared to just 30% of women. 

The reasons behind the less-than favorable circumstances surrounding retirement savings are understandable as inflation has made everyday expenses rise at a rapid rate. This has had a clear impact on credit card debt. According to the survey, nearly one-third (30%) of older adults who carry over a credit card balance from month-to-month report carrying a balance of $10K or more, while 12% described their balance as $20K or more, up from 8% roughly a year ago.

Despite this, 33% of respondents over the age of 50 believe their finances will improve 12 months from now, but the lingering effects of inflation and high costs are still apparent:

- More than one-third (37%) are worried about covering basic expenses, such as food and housing.
- More than a quarter (26%) are worried about covering family caregiving costs.
- Seven in 10 (70%) are worried about prices rising faster than their income.
- Over a quarter (26%) of people who are not yet retired say they expect to never retire.

AARP refers to the current outlook as a "serious retirement crisis," emphasizing that the organization has a long history of supporting legislation to expand access to retirement savings. According to Nancy LeaMond, AARP EVP and chief advocacy and engagement officer, "We have worked with 19 states to create programs to make it easier for people whose employers don't offer a retirement plan to be able to save for their future. But about two-thirds of states have yet to act, and we await action from the federal government."

Americans are 15 times more likely to save for retirement when they have access to a workplace plan. Yet nearly 57 million people do not have access to such a plan.

Congress is currently considering different pieces of legislation that would expand retirement security, including the bipartisan Retirement Savings for Americans Act of 2023, which would provide retirement savings accounts to eligible workers without employer-sponsored retirement plans, and the Automatic IRA Act of 2024. 

Eight states have auto-IRA programs up and running: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, and Virginia, while Massachusetts has a multiple employer plan in place. Ten other states have passed legislation and are at various stages of implementation, including Washington, where auto-IRA legislation was signed into law last month. 

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