New Survey Highlights Ongoing Challenge Of Saving For Retirement

New Survey Highlights Ongoing Challenge Of Saving For Retirement

The path toward retirement comes with its own set of challenges.

A new survey reveals that while Americans are still optimistic about their retirement years, the bulk of retired workers admit that their top source of income comes from Social Security.

After putting in the work, most people would love to spend the rest of their years enjoying all that life has to offer, but the path toward retirement comes with its own set of challenges, according to a survey from Employee Benefit Research.

One common problem Americans find themselves plagued with as they look ahead to the Golden Years is simple—saving.

​​”Half of people don’t have retirement accounts at work. And that’s been true for decades. So it’s not getting any better,” Teresa Ghilarducci, professor at the New School for Social Research in New York, told TheStreet.

“Saving for retirement is the biggest challenge,” she continued. “But it’s close. It’s followed very closely by having to decide where to invest. That’s followed closely by if you accumulate even $1 million, how to accumulate. So, actually, the challenges are simple. It’s just accumulation — investment and accumulation. It’s the whole package, the do-it-yourself package, that is the biggest barrier to people’s retirement.”

What’s more, she said this retirement challenge is “very American.”

“There’s no other country that does it this way that requires so much acumen, discipline, and worry and anxiety on its workers than the United States,” Ghilarducci said.

She also homed in on the role employers play when it comes to the current state of work in the U.S. and how it heightens the current retirement problem.

“Amazon actually has a business model of keeping people in the warehouse for only six or seven months,” Ghilarducci explained. “People are gig workers, contingent workers, and dependent workers.”

While there is a long way to go, the professor did offer a solution to America’s retirement problem, specifically focusing on how 401(k) accounts offer an “inadequate part of the retirement equation.”

“Almost everybody pays into Social Security,” said Ghilarducci. “So if we just had a system that for every time you get a Social Security credit, you also got some financial credit in a retirement account, then we could solve the problem.

“Right now, we rely on employers voluntarily sponsoring a 401(k), and then that’s not enough,” she continued. “And then the worker has to voluntarily decide to be in the 401(k), so it’s two decisions.”