A Bankrate.com survey found, in the age 18 to 29 demographic, nearly seven in 10 (69%) workers have not started saving for retirement. Those in the 30 to 49 age bracket are doing somewhat better but still struggle—with 33% having no amount saved for retirement. Bankrate researchers suggest these younger non-savers are missing out on the critical “time value” of money, as dollars invested today have the potential to grow far more substantially than dollars invested close to retirement.
The older generations in the workforce display a better track record, the research shows, with 74% of those ages 50 to 64 and 86% of people 65 years and older having established some retirement savings. Americans who are already saving for retirement say they started to do so at an early age. For example, twice as many active retirement investors in the 30 to 49 year-old age range started saving in their 20s than started saving in their 30s.
“Regardless of age, there is no better time than the present to start saving for retirement,” says Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “The key to a successful retirement is to save early and aggressively, but even those on the cusp of their golden years should have some money allocated toward equities as opposed to all cash and bonds.”
The survey suggests Americans’ feelings of financial security have not changed from one month ago. However, there has been a slight improvement in their perception of financial security compared with one year ago, Bankrate says.
Some other findings from the report suggest that millennials feel more financially secure than any other age group, despite their lack of retirement savings and generally lower wages. Bankrate says this positivity comes from Millennials feeling more secure in their jobs and more optimistic about their ability to make money down the road.
While job security, net worth and overall financial situation are areas in which Americans see good improvement from a year ago, twice as many Americans now say they are less comfortable with their savings compared with a year ago than say they are more comfortable.
Americans’ comfort level with debt also remains mixed. Although 24% of people are less comfortable with their current situation debt situation compared with a year ago, 23% are more comfortable than one year ago.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) among 1,003 U.S. adults August 7 – 10. Survey results can be viewed here.