Who’s Really Planning for Retirement?

You’ve probably seen scary headlines about how so many Americans are failing to properly plan for retirement. These headlines have a fair amount of truth to them, unfortunately, as there are many Americans who aren’t taking the job of retirement planning quite seriously enough.

However, there are also a lot of myths and misconceptions about who is and isn’t dropping the ball with their retirement planning. The conventional wisdom is that retirement planning is most robust among older generations, and in particular among those who are affluent and have high-paying jobs. According to data reported in a recent Wall Street Journal article, however, this conventional wisdom may not tell the real story.

Three Myths About Retirement Planning

Consider three basic misconceptions about the retirement savings gap, as reported in the Journal.

Myth #1:

Young people are the ones failing to prepare for retirement. “Among those employed part-time, full-time or self-employed,” the article finds, “only 45 percent of those aged 23-35 have planned for retirement. However, only 54 percent of those aged 50-61—people much closer to retirement—have done any planning.” While millennials could and should do more to plan for their eventual retirement, then, the problem is hardly unique to them, and in some ways may be more serious among members of the older generation.

Myth #2:

Those with high-income jobs are the ones best suited for retirement planning. “Among the same group of workers but with income above $50,000 (about the median income), only 58 percent say they ever tried to figure out how much to save for retirement,” reports the Journal. To put it differently: Even among those who are drawing larger paychecks, retirement saving is not that common.

Myth #3:

Those who have access to pensions are the best at retirement planning. Even among those with an employer-sponsored pension or retirement plan, just about 59 percent try to determine how much they could or should realistically be saving.

Retirement Planning is Accessible to Anyone

These numbers paint a bleak picture, but we have some good news to end on: Saving is something that anyone can do, regardless of age, income, or access to employer-sponsored plans. Setting aside money in an IRA or some other retirement account is something you can start doing immediately. The first step is to meet with a financial planner to develop a clear plan of action, and to see just how accessible retirement planning can be. We invite you to schedule a meeting with Stonepath Wealth Management today.