55% of Americans Don't Know Cost of Retirement

Most Americans have no idea how much they will need to live on once they retire according to the Quicken Fiscal Literacy Survey. More than 35% of all respondents did not know just how much they needed in order to retire, a one-percent increase from the 2000 Survey. The survey indicates that around 30% of Americans could only sustain themselves economically for a few months in the event of job loss; that same number of Americans don't even contribute to a pre-tax retirement program.

"It may be reasonable for 27% of people under age 25 to not know how much money they will need for retirement, but the survey shows that the percentage skyrockets with age. With retirement just around the corner, 55% of those 65 and over still do know how much they will need to maintain their lifestyle after they stop working," said Baie Netzer, investments editor for Quicken.com. "Today's economic volatility should be a wake up call to consumers that they need to be more diligent with their savings and more efficient with their spending."

Nearly 30% of full-time employees do not contribute to a qualified, tax-deferred retirement savings plan, in essence forfeiting the opportunity to reduce their tax burden and ignoring free money from potential employer contributions. Despite having longer life expectancies, a lower percentage of women contribute to these plans than do men.

Interestingly, the older survey participants had more uncertainty about how much it will take to fund retirement than the younger participants.

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