BOSTON - The average American retires in their 60s and while that age may feel like it's in far in the future, the time to plan for your retirement savings is now.
For many, these last few years have been challenging financially and that has played a role in savings preparation.
According to a new study from Bankrate, 56-percent of working Americans said they feel behind, 37-percent feel significantly behind and only 25-percent of workers said they're actually contributing more to their retirement savings this year, compared to about a year ago.
Twenty-two percent of workers surveyed said they did not make contributions to their retirement savings last year and won't be doing it this year either.
Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst for Bankrate, told WBZ-TV it's important for us to change the way that we think about retirement and the purpose it serves.
"Let's say the day they retire, the week after, as the destination. That's the wrong way to look at this, because Americans are living longer. And so you really need to think about the destination being the rest of your life. You'll need to fund those many years hopefully with sufficient retirement funding. So, you can live those live those days as well as you would like to," Hamrick explained.
The study also pointed out older workers are more likely to feel behind when it comes to saving for retirement. According to Bankrate, 69-percent of Gen X (ages 43-58) and 60-percent of Baby Boomers (ages 59-77) say they feel more behind. That's compared to 49-percent of millennials (ages 27-42) and 42-percent of Gen Z workers (ages 18-26).
Regardless of your age, Hamrick said you need to have a plan.
"I think the main takeaway here is that saying, 'I don't know how much money I'll need to retire is really an unacceptable answer. We need to start sort of penciling in some estimates, so we can sort of achieve some sort of goal. Because if we don't know what our goal is, how in the world can we achieve It?," he told WBZ.
Nearly a third of workers who participated in the study said they feel like theymore than $1 million to retire comfortably.
Whatever that figure may be for you, Hamrick encourages you to explore that figure with a retirement calculator or by getting help from a financial planner.
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