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A yawning gap in baby boomers' retirement savings

A new survey by BlackRock is revealing how average investors are holding too much cash and shortchanging their future
BlackRock president talks risk of clinging to cash, retirement 04:48

The golden years look problematic for those nearing retirement.

There's a large gap between what Americans nearing retirement say they need to live on and what they actually have saved, according to the findings of an annual survey conducted by investment firm BlackRock.

"People are more confident than they were the last time we took the survey," Robert Kapito, president of BlackRock, told CBS News. "At same time they are still realizing that they have not saved enough for the future. People are going to live longer, and that means they are going to have to work longer."

Nearly three-quarters, or 74 percent, of the 4,213 Americans surveyed said they find it very difficult to keep on top of their bills while also saving for retirement.

"There is more optimism than years past, but the gap between what people need and what they have is greater than about $36,000 per year," said Kapito. "That's a huge gap."

Baby boomers, those 55 to 65, said they want to have $45,500 in annual retirement income, yet they've accumulated nest eggs that would generate only $9,150 annually, leaving a gap of $36,350.

"People are sitting on more cash than they've ever done before, even though they recognize that they need to invest in order to get that return," said Kapito.

While Americans said they should have 33 percent of their net worth in cash investments, they acknowledge to holding 65 percent. Beyond that share in cash, the survey found the current asset allocation of U.S. portfolios is 18 percent in equities, 6 percent in bonds, 4 percent in property, 2 percent in alternatives and 5 percent listed as "other."

Nearly one in four, or 23 percent, said they regularly set aside specific amounts into long-term savings or investments, and only 14 percent had a formal financial plan for retirement. One in five, or 21 percent, said they regularly contribute to retirement accounts through their employer or saved for retirement outside of any employer plan.

Thirty-nine percent said they wanted to have "cash saved as a security blanket or reserve for unforeseen events" before they could think about investing. And 37 percent said investing feels risky.

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