When it comes to Americans and retirement savings, study after study shows the same thing. The average American saved far less than experts think they will need.
There are many reasons for this situation, but the reasons for not saving are not as important as what it means for future senior citizens.
The biggest problem is that even people who think they have saved more than enough might need to evaluate their own plans and save more. This warning is provided by the New York Times in "Rethinking Retirement for Longer Lives With Fewer Safety Nets."
The biggest issue is simply that people are living longer than ever before, on average. That trend is expected to continue as medical science progresses. No one is certain just how long people will live after retirement in the future.
People who have planned to save for 20 years of retirement living might actually need to save for 30, 40 or even more years. This also creates problems for elderly safety nets.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already under financial stress because of the large number of Baby Boomers entering their retirement years. The longer people live, the more that those programs will need to pay out. Many people believe the programs will have to offer substantially fewer benefits in the future.
If you want to retire comfortably and still have an estate left for your children and grandchildren to inherit, then it is important that you review your retirement plans and make sure you really are saving enough.
Reference: New York Times (Feb. 27, 2017) "Rethinking Retirement for Longer Lives With Fewer Safety Nets."