30 Million Recently Tapped Retirement Savings for Emergency

Another 21 million Americans aren’t saving for retirement.

Thirty million Americans used money from their retirement savings to account for an emergency in the past year, according to Bankrate.com. In addition, 21 million Americans aren’t saving for retirement at all.

Bucking the perception that lower-balance accounts are more likely to see early withdrawals, Millennials were the least likely to tap into their retirement accounts, with only 8% of this demographic group having done so in the past year. Helping to explain the trend, 40% of Millennials say their financial situation has improved in the past year, and only 11% say they are doing worse right now than they were 12 months ago.

However, for those in the 50 to 64 age group, 26% say their financial situation has deteriorated in the past year, and 18% have drawn down funds from their retirement account for an emergency. 

In addition, Bankrate.com reported that its Financial Security Index rebounded and now stands at 102.6, the best reading since June. Thirty percent of people feel more secure in their jobs, 57% feel the same, and 12% feel less secure. Thirty percent feel less comfortable with their savings compared to a year ago, while 18% feel more comfortable.

Bankrate.com’s report follows an earlier report that showed that only 19% of Americans are contributing more to their retirement accounts than they were a year ago, 14% are contributing less, and 55% are contributing the same amount.

Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted the survey in early September among 1,004 adults for Bankrate.com. It can be seen in its entirety here.