Way back in 1992, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article warned that “[w]ith savings rates down, the future of Social Security in question and traditional plans going the way of the eight-track tape, experts say there’s a retirement crisis looming in America.”
A non-stop drumbeat of articles featuring similar warnings have continued down to the present day, although “retirement crisis” remains opaque as a description of the struggles faced by Americans. If there’s a huge problem, how many people are affected?
The answer, in survey after report after study, seems to be roughly half. Approximately 50% of Americans have consistently reported that they will struggle, or are currently struggling, with their retirement finances. With approximately 10,000 people turning 65 each day for the next two decades, that represents an avalanche of gray-haired unease.
The retirement struggle is real. The most recent data confirming the scope of the retirement crisis comes from the Employment Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In a new study, the institute found “nearly half of employees are concerned with their household’s financial wellbeing, citing saving for retirement and having savings in case of an emergency as top sources of financial stress.”