A long list of competing financial priorities—credit card or student loan debt, saving for a child’s education or low wages—are cited as obstacles to saving for retirement, says Cameron Huddleston, Life + Money columnist for GOBankingRates.
However, some people do manage to save, despite these challenges. Retirement savings correlates with a saver’s life stage, according to a new study from GOBankingRates. For young people just starting their careers, simply saving at all could be a sufficient goal, while those nearing retirement are likely to want to have at least a few hundred thousand in their retirement accounts.
Those likeliest to have no retirement savings at all are Millennials, who are 40% more likely than Gen Xers and 50% more likely than Baby Boomers to have no savings. Gen Xers are making a significant effort to save: 48% have stashed away more than $10,000, and about a quarter of those savers—27%—have saved $100,000 or more.
The top balances can be found in the accounts of Baby Boomers and seniors, who are 85% more likely than Gen Xers to have $300,000 in retirement accounts, and 4.6 times more likely than Millennials to have saved this amount
Of the 42% of Millennials indicating they have no retirement savings, it’s the younger members (ages 18 to 24) who have not started, at 52%. Of older Millennials, ages 25 to 34, the percentage of non-savers drops back to a more reasonable 36%. Younger Millennials most commonly have “less than $10,000” (30%) and $10,000 to $49,000 (11%).NEXT: Gen X struggles
Just more than half of Gen Xers (52%) still have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. This generation was hit especially hard by the financial crisis of 2008/2009, which cost them 45% of their net wealth, GOBankingRates.com says. Younger Gen Xers are falling farther behind than their older counterparts: most younger members have balances of less than $50,000. Older Gen Xers (ages 45 to 54) are clearly making an effort, with an impressive 40% having balances of $50,000 or more.
As respondents get older, the gap between savers and non-savers widens. A larger portion of those age 55 and older report having high-balance retirement funds, but a significant subgroup still has little to no retirement assets. About 3 in 10 of respondents in this age group have no savings. About one-quarter (26%) report savings balances of less than $50,000. More than half (54%) have balances far behind typical retirement fund benchmarks for their age group.
GOBankingRates surveyed three age groups of approximately 1,500 respondents each: ages 18 to 34; ages 35 to 54; and age 55 and older. Respondents were asked, “By your best estimate, how much money do you have saved for retirement?”
More information about the survey is at GOBankingRates’ website.