Americans are suffering from low home values, lack of personal savings and battered retirement accounts, but they are showing commitment to saving, says a study of 500 middle-income Americans between the ages of 47 and 65. Of those surveyed, 32% have already paid off their mortgages, but close to half, or 48%, say they do not expect to pay off their mortgages before retiring.
The study, released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, surveyed Americans with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000 and found that while baby boomers have had to reshape their retirement expectations, 18% say they are saving more now than before the economic downturn. Additionally, 95% of those who contribute to an employee-sponsored 401(k) say they they maintained or increased contributions.
On the flip side, 14% do not have a retirement account, and 16% owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth.
“Strive to pay down debt, take full advantage of your retirement savings opportunities at work and be realistic about the amount of money you will need to live the retirement lifestyle you want,” said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer. “Also, consider speaking with a professional advisor to create a financial plan that supports your vision of retirement.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker