17 Scary Charts About America's Coming Retirement Crisis

Photo: Flickr / closari

The Great Recession has rattled retirement plans for just about every consumer in the country, regardless of age. Stymied by a lack of knowledge, depleted savings and the increasing likelihood they’ll work through their golden years, Americans have a long road ahead of them.

After checking out Transamerica’s 13th annual Retirement Survey, we know exactly where we’re falling short. 

DOUBT: Since the recession, more than 60 per cent of 3,600 workers surveyed say they've lost confidence in their retirement goals. That's especially true for those in their 50s, 47 per cent of whom plan on working through retirement.

*The study includes responses from more than 3,600 American workers.

SHRINKING NEST EGGS: Just 39 per cent of workers said they've scrounged up enough savings to last through their golden years. Workers in their 60s are the least prepared, with 54 per cent saying they haven't saved enough.

THERE'S NO MAGIC NUMBER: It's long been predicted 65 would no longer be THE retirement age marker and now a staggering 86 per cent of workers in their 60s will work past their 65th birthday.

WE'RE BROKE: Workers gave two major reasons for delaying retirement – not being able to afford the luxury and needing to keep their job for the income.

WE'RE ON OUR OWN: Most workers plan on self-funding their retirement, with the majority relying on employer-provided plans and their own – the same savings they say they haven't been able to build.

SAVINGS GAP: There are still far too many workers not taking advantage of employer-provided plans (23 per cent) and most don't enroll until their 30s.

FLEDGLING 401(k)s: For the 77 per cent who do contribute to retirement plans, the contribution level has dropped back down to 7 per cent. The suggested contribution is at least 10 per cent.

FAILURE TO LAUNCH: 20-somethings (and those in their 40s) are 20 per cent less likely to save outside of work than those in their 60s.

GUESSING GAMES: When it comes to estimating how much we'll need to support ourselves in retirement, most workers said they just took a wild guess.

NO BACK-UP PLAN: Most Americans don't have a contingency plan in place if they wind up retiring earlier than expected.

DIY STYLE: More than 80 per cent of workers said they're taking the do-it-yourself approach to retirement planning. Just 16 per cent would prefer an advisor's help.

MISPLACED FAITH: But with 70 per cent of workers willing to admit they don't know enough about retirement planning, they might want to reconsider the DIY approach.

DISJOINTED EXPECTATIONS: While one-third of workers in their 20s said they'll have to care for their parents in old age, just 4 per cent of respondents in their 60s said they would need any support at all.

PLAN GAPS: All but 10 per cent of workers say they value 401(k) plans in their jobs, but just 76 per cent say any such plans are offered. That 14 per cent gap is a problem.

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