It's such a startling number that it takes a while for it to sink in. Some 34% of Americans have no retirement savings and 27% have no personal savings, according to a recent Harris Poll. Moreover, those numbers are worse than 18 months ago, when they stood at 30% and 22% respectively.
High persistent unemployment is causing people to dip into their savings to pay everyday bills. In addition, the lesson younger workers seem to have taken from the financial crisis is not to trust the stock market. So while traditional financial planning called for younger workers to be heavily invested in the stock market and reap long-term appreciation, they instead are choosing less risky investments. Only 16% of Echo Boomers (18-33) have their retirement savings mostly in stocks and/or mutual funds, while 27% of Gen Xers (34-45) are doing so.
Against a backdrop of possible cutbacks in Social Security benefits and in government pensions, it's more important than ever for employers to encourage their workers to save - for now and the future.