You have probably seen several news reports quoting statistics from the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Some of the more interesting figures from the survey are that 43% of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings and 27% say they have less than $1000 in savings. Also only 16% have confidence in their ability to save enough for retirement.
These statistics may not be as bad as they seem. The statistics do not include the value of primary homes or defined-benefit pension plans. Also, you need to consider that some of the survey respondents are still in their 20’s and haven’t had much time to accumulate much in savings.
Even taking these factors into account though it is clear that most Americans need to be doing more in preparation for retirement. They survey showed that many people are unaware of how much they need to save for retirement or how to calculate how much they need to save for retirement. I think it is also clear that without the safety net of Social Security there will be millions of Americans that are never able to retire.