The Average Middle-Class American Only Has $20,000 Saved For Retirement

Consumers’ lack of savings for the future isn’t a new phenomena: Just two months ago we reported that one-in-three Americans have no retirement savings. Today we know a little more about just how much those other two have saved; and it isn’t nearly enough.

A new survey conducted by Harris Poll for Wells Fargo found that middle-class residents of the United States have a median of $20,000 put away for retirement, USA Today reports.

That figure falls well below the $250,000 most consumers estimate they’ll need to live on after retirement. In fact, 31% of the survey respondents don’t believe they’ll have enough savings to survive on in retirement.

About 50% of middle-class adults currently in their 50s say they plan to work until they are at least 80 years old because they won’t have enough saved for retirement.

Like previous studies, the Wells Fargo report – which surveyed 1,001 adults ages 25 to 75 – found that a third (34%) of working middle-class adults aren’t contributing anything to a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan.

Of those consumers who are putting money away, the current savings is a median of just $125 per month.

The overall lack of savings likely stems from consumers’ decisions early in life to hold-off on saving for retirement. For years consumers have been saying there’s always next year, but that notion appears to be changing.

According to the report, more and more consumers are beginning to realize the importance of saving early on.

Of the survey respondents, nearly 72% say they should have start saving earlier, a significant increase for 65% who believed the same thing just a year ago.

To make up for lost savings, consumers said they would make sacrifices in the future such as cutting out indulgences like spa trips, eating out and putting off big purchases.

Middle-class adults have $20K saved for retirement [USA TOday]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.