This falls under “what the heck are they thinking” category

This kind of stuff drives me nuts

There is no excuse, none, not one.

According to a new “study,” more than a fifth (22%) of Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, and nearly half of working adults (46%) expect to work past the traditional retirement age of 65.

The annual study found: More than one in five (22%) Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, and 15% have no retirement savings at all.

That’s an improvement from 2018 when 31% had less than $5,000 saved and 21% had no retirement savings at all.

While 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day, nearly one in five (17%) have less than $5,000 saved for retirement and 20% have less than $5,000 in personal savings.

For Gen X, the numbers are greater — 21% have less than $5,000 saved for retirement and 22% have less than $5,000 in personal savings.

More than half (56%) of Americans don’t know how much they’ll need to retire comfortably.

More than a fifth (22%) of non-retired U.S. adults believe it is not at all likely that Social Security will be available when they retire.

On average, people think there is a 45% chance they will outlive their savings, and 41% have taken no steps to address it.

Source: Newsroom | Northwestern Mutual – Planning & Progress Study 2019


  1. All of the comments above are thoughtful responses, however, how do you educate or change circumstances for this riding in small beatup car riding on a donut tire to save. They are living hand to mouth and work two part time jobs if at all. To the individuals those of you who commented are the rich folks that will be taxed by Bernie and company who will give the individual in the beater car welfare to live. Many of us think these are few and far between. Talk to those on the street and see what they have to saw about saving for retirement.

    I’m not knocking the thoughts presented above, just trying to shed some empathy on those in that situation. Educational resources for them is non-existent. Pie in the sky.


    1. I fear you fall for the popular rhetoric. Very few people cannot save something over their entire working years. Look around at how even low income Americans spend their money. Sure, there are chronically poor who actually live day to day, but they are not the norm and more important the poor are not a fixed population. There are people going in and out of that group continuously. Most people fit the criteria of poor for months, not years and not all their lives.


      1. RD – I agree with you, most people spend money on stuff that they do not really need.

        The official poverty rate is 12.3 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 estimates. That year, an estimated 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure. According to supplemental poverty measure, the poverty rate was 13.9 percent.

        So, 86% should be able to save something, but they do not, for many reasons. Debt is the biggest drag on any budget. The billions spent every Christmas point to a major waste of money and we are all guilty of it, from time to time. I never made more than $25,000 per year during my working years, 1971 to 2007 many years a lot less and never thought I was living hand to mouth.
        Many of those years I had zero debt, purchased used cars (for cash), used appliances, used TVs etc. Now I see teens without income, walking around with a much better cell phone than I, mine is seven years old. It is CRAZY what people waste money on and 85% have no one to blame, but themselves if they do not have enough to live on in retirement.

        An income of $32,400 per year would allow someone to be among the top 1% of income earners in the world. To reach the top 1% worldwide in terms of wealth—not just income but all you own—you’d have to possess $770,000 in net worth.

        People need to get woke, even the so called poor in the US are not really poor, by world standards..


    2. There will always be people with less…but by what measure should be used…3rd world economies make us all appear wealthy by comparison…I suspect that lifestyle choices are the main factors for those struggling with less…a hand up and not a hand out is a probably a better solution for everyone.


    3. Agree. 50 years ago, I had flunked out, and volunteered my draft, during the Vietnam War. For the next 11 years, I had low wage jobs, had a modest amount of debt, living payday to payday, while attending night school. Back then, my income was in the lowest quintile. My improved financial status followed from 50 years of full time employment, from 18 until now, in my late 60’s coupled with scrimping and saving. From 1973 to 2006, I bought only used cars (one exception), and that new car I bought in 2006 is still on the road today – I gave it away after putting on 296,000 miles.

      I haven’t forgotten my journey. I suspect most of those who comment here have their own stories.


  2. Today I heard a radio ad for a bank that is “too big to fail”. It stated to “start your savings by taking out a loan for that wedding or vacation”. Going into debt is not saving. Going into debt for things that you don’t need is not saving nor smart. I think this explains our financial culture of today and what people are told to think.


  3. I have said this before and it should be repeated at every dinner table. The only way to make retirement as stress free as possible, is zero debt. No house payment, no car payment, no credit card debt. Then many people could live on just social security,


  4. So, I should save so that I have some money in retirement?

    That may mean my Social Security benefits are taxable. That may mean that I may get to pay for Medicare Part B and D premiums, and don’t get Medicaid (dual eligible). That may mean I may have to pay IRMAA premiums. That may mean stupid Pocahontas and Bernie may decide to tax it away – even after I paid significant employment and medicare and federal, state and local taxes on my earnings; and income taxes on the investment earnings.

    Looking for folks who are foolish? Look in the mirror. Welcome, thanks for joining in with me to save for a future where we are not dependent on others. If no one else appreciates your efforts, I certainly do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am starting to believe that the world has been working to this day for over 150 years. Over a hundred years ago, the world was headed to socialism and corporate welfare of pension plans and benefits, the history of which I am just starting to learn about. How would these people survive back 150-200 years ago before the industrial revolution? If farmers and their wives didn’t put up food for the winter, they starve. If you didn’t save seed for the next crop, you starve. Didn’t chop wood in the summer, you froze in the winter.

    The art of planning ahead is a lost art. Today, if you forgotten something, you can have it shipped to you the same day or overnight from anywhere in the world. I know people now who do not know what they have to do today until their phone reminds them. Even when people whom they know start dying in the streets, they will not start regretting saving more but instead they will demand that government who already wants to run your lives do more for them. Politicians are willing to promise them free everything now so why plan ahead. We are become a world of slaves to our governments. Centuries ago, the populous were kept in check by religion damnation. Now it is kept in check by the government offering welfare benefits just like how junkies are kept hooked on drugs by their pushers.

    The answer is that they are not thinking. The governments and or certain political parties around the world are willing do that all that thinking for you.


  6. I agree with you Mr. Quinn – there is no EXCUSE whatsoever for these sorts of results.

    But there very well may be REASONS for them …

    Commenter Mik provides one valid reason.

    But there is another: I read just recently (I’ll try to find and add the source) that fewer than 17% of U.S. High Schools include even a basic, fundamental Personal Financial Management course in their curriculum. That drives ME nuts! And I consider it criminal negligence on the part of the U.S. school system!

    Perhaps what drives me nuts is the CAUSE of what drives you nuts about this!


    1. It is not just at school either. A friend was telling me on NYE that her daughter, who is in college to become an accountant, didn’t know how to write a check. To be fair, the opportunity to write checks are greatly reduced in this day and age. I have gone from writing 20-30 checks a month to maybe 3 checks a month in the last 40 years. However, the mother was blaming the college for not teaching her. I asked if she even had a checking account and she said yes. I told her that my parents taught me how to write a check when they told me it was time to get a checking account which was before I had graduated from high school because I was already in the working world.

      I also had a joint credit card with my parents. Small credit limit, but this was their opportunity for monitoring how I used the card to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid. Some basic financial skills should have been taught or observed at home.

      But I am in total agreement that a personal financial management course should be required in school. Contracts, loans, interest, retirement, insurance all need a basic foundation so that people can ask the right questions as they interact in financial matters for the rest of their lives.


    2. Financial Management is not the only area that our school system is failing this generation. Telling everyone that they need to go to college to make a good income, is a disservice. I read that 55% of 2014 college grads were working in jobs that do not require a degree. But they still have that school debt to pay back. In the years ahead we are going to have a major shortage of auto mechanics, electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen.
      Way back in 1974 the first day of my 12th grade English class, Mrs. Mann had a big surprise for all of us. No English lessons. She said if we did not know Principles of English Grammar by now, she would not be able to teach us much in one semester. What she taught us, has been of great value my entire life. Budgeting – how to write checks and balance the account, food budget, including going to the store and pricing food items and planning meals. Job interview, practice in class and then going to a local business and applying for a job, of course telling them it was a school project. Renting an apartment including a completed lease. Going to a local car dealership to purchase a car. Saving for things that we wanted to buy, that credit was only for a car or house. Everyone received an A and we all learned valuable skills.


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