Is There a Retirement Savings Crisis?

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In a new survey by AARP, sizeable numbers of people admitted that they have more awareness of topics such as celebrity gossip, the current baseball season, or a top-rated television show than they have of the status of their retirement savings.
 
The United States faces a retirement savings crisis. With the phase-out of pensions and rising health care costs, Americans face a difficult financial future.  Research shows that:
·         Approximately 2 in 5 households headed by people age 55-64—over 9 million households—have no retirement assets saved at all.
·         Average Social Security retirement benefits are only $1,360 per month, so people clearly are not saving enough to live comfortably as we age.
 
Many people would like to be saving more, but simply feel overwhelmed by the options and information available. Yet, AARP’s survey found that many of these same people have successfully achieved other goals that require similar basic financial savvy— such as qualifying for a mortgage, saving for their children’s college, starting their own business, or simply saving for a special vacation.
 
The “Saving for Retirement” campaign will remind consumers that they’ve mastered other financial challenges in their lives, and encourage them to apply that same resourcefulness and know-how to get the most out of every dollar for their retirement savings.
 

About: Jean Setzfand, Vice President, Financial Security, AARP. She leads educational and outreach efforts aimed at helping Americans have financial ‘peace of mind’ in retirement, navigating through caregiving and health decisions and influencing change in communities for better living at all ages.  In the areas of financial resilience, her work focuses on providing consumer-friendly information on money matters, workforce issues, retirement decisions and protecting 50+ consumers from investment fraud.  As a part of the investor protection work, Ms. Setzfand serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Seniors for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).  Ms. Setzfand has been with AARP since 2002.  Prior to joining AARP, she worked as a strategic management consultant serving domestic and international financial services institutions.  She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
 
This interview is sponsored by AARP
 

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