Work sucks, I know. But the silver lining in the dark clouds of a life of hard work used to be ditching your cubicle to enjoy a well-earned retirement. Sadly, in the United States, that is becoming more of a fantasy than a reality. A new poll shows that for almost half of Americans, it’s “going to take a miracle” to be financially secure when it comes to retirement.
According to the latest data from the Natixis Global Retirement Index, 41 percent of people felt that they lacked the financial security to retirement, with 59 percent accepting the fact that they will have to work longer than anticipated before giving up the office life.
If that wasn’t bad enough, 36 percent believe that they will never have enough money to retire.
The pandemic, of course, has been a major setback for Americans’ retirement plans but most of these issues existed long before COVID.
Numbers have shown that across generations, people simply do not have enough savings to be on pace to retire anywhere near the target age of 65.
It’s easy to blame people for not saving enough for retirement but the reality of the situation is that wages simply have not kept up with the increased price of living.
Wage gains have increased for the highest earners but for the average earner in the United States, wages have remained stagnant for decades even as the cost of living has steadily risen. Add that on top of the shift away from pensions and to 401(k)s and IRAs and the gap between retirement have-and have nots has widened. Plus, as Social Security benefits will deplete over time, the more money someone has saved for retirement, the better off they may be if the federal government doesn’t take action.
And the simple fact of the matter is that a family cannot save when they are putting all of their money into survival. The report even revealed that a significant number of workers had to withdraw from their retirements savings accounts in order to pay bills and survive the pandemic.
The possibility of retirement is even more difficult for families, as parents are forced to deal with the insane cost of childcare and the general finances that come with raising a child before they can even start to think about their own retirement.