Retirement saving not likely in 2016News added by Benefits Pro on January 7, 2016

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Marlene Y. Satter

Americans just aren’t prepared to save for retirement — and they’re not likely to get better at it in 2016.

That’s a logical conclusion from the latest survey, which revealed that Americans can’t even handle the unexpected expense of a $500 car repair or $1,000 emergency room visit.

Just 37 percent of respondents indicated that they had enough savings to bail them out of such unforeseen expenses.

Among the rest, 23 percent said they’d cut spending to pay such bills; 15 percent would resort to credit cards; and another 15 percent said they’d hit up family or friends for a loan.

With such statistics as that, what chance does retirement saving have?

When money tightens up, it’s interesting to see how respondents said they’d cut back.

While 58 percent said they were very or somewhat likely to dial back on restaurant meals to save money, far fewer—only 35 percent — looked at alcoholic beverage consumption as a place where they were very or somewhat likely to cut back. That was the lowest percentage among the five options offered.

More were willing to take the scissors to cable/satellite TV expenses—46 percent said that was a very or somewhat likely means of saving. Forty-one percent cited coffee as a target, and 39 percent hope to cut their cell phone expenses.

The scary thing is the income levels of many of those who said they weren’t up to the challenge of those unexpected expenses.

Forty-six percent of the highest-income households ($75,000+ per year) and 52 percent of college graduates don’t have enough money already saved to cover a $500 car repair or $1,000 emergency room visit.

“More than four in 10 Americans either experienced a major unexpected expense over the past 12 months or had an immediate family member who did,” Sheyna Steiner,’s senior investing analyst, said in a statement.

Steiner added, “This proves that an emergency savings cushion is more than just a personal finance cliché, yet most Americans are ill-prepared for life’s inevitable curveballs.”

And, apparently, retirement too.

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