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More than half of Americans say they're behind on retirement savings | How experts say to help yourself

A recent study found 30% of Gen Z-ers, 46% of Millennials, 65% of Gen X-ers, and 71% of Baby Boomers surveyed said they feel behind.

SAN DIEGO — More than half of Americans said they're behind on saving for retirement and no age group is immune.

A Bankrate.com study found 30% of Gen Z-ers, 46% of Millennials, 65% of Gen X-ers, and 71% of Baby Boomers surveyed said they feel behind where they should be on retirement savings.

"I don't think I'm ready for retirement granted, I'm only 28 years old," Alex Bergan, a salesperson at a boutique collective store in North Park, said. "I do feel like I'm putting all the right pieces together." 

Bergan says he served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years, and has put away a "little nest egg." 

When asked if she felt she was financially ready for retirement, 84-year-old Mia Cara said "I don't think I'll ever be," adding that she is "...of the mindset I'm not gonna retire ever; I live to fit my pocket, I adjust."

Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride says not saving enough for retirement, or starting to save later in life, is the biggest financial regret most people report.

"What we see is Gen X-ers, and particularly Baby Boomers, not only have the highest propensity to say 'oh, gee, I wish I started saving for retirement early enough,' but they also have the highest propensity to say they're behind where they should be on retirement savings," McBride explained.

On the other hand, he adds more Gen Z-ers and Millennials are taking advantage of retirement plans and employer contributions, and doing so earlier in their careers. Even then, he says Americans have long been under-saving.

"Interestingly, we find when we look at the basis of income brackets, it's not the lowest income households that feel most likely they're behind on retirement savings," McBride said. "It tends to be upper middle class households with income between $80,000 and $100,000."

Even with San Diego's high cost-of-living and high inflation, there are some things you can do now to set yourself up throughout next year.

Really sit down and map out your budget; once you know how much of your paycheck covers your bills, you can plan what to do with the rest.

  • If circumstances allow, find a side gig to boost income for bit, using that money to pay off debt or save
  • Work on paying off high-interest debt like credit cards, keeping in mind rates will likely go up next year
  • Contribute enough to your 401(k) to take advantage of an employer match, if one is available
  • Start now, it's never too early or too late

The consensus amongst financial experts is to try to save 10%-15% of your income every year for retirement.

WATCH RELATED: New report finds military spending has added jobs and money to San Diego’s economy (Dec. 2022).



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