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Who does and does not have a retirement account?

Given the brevity but importance of this piece, it is copied in full here by Alessandra Malito of MarketWatch, entitled, “More than one-third of Americans say they’ve never had a retirement account.” Click on any of the links for more reading:

Never had a retirement account? You’re not alone – 36% of American workers said they’ve never had a retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA, a new Bankrate survey found. 

Generation Z and lower-income households were more likely to fall in this group. This includes about half of workers with annual income of less than $50,000, according to the survey. Bankrate’s survey included interviews of 2,225 American adults. 

More than half of all workers said they felt they were behind on their retirement savings, and only 21% said they were on track. Another 16% said they weren’t sure where they stand, and 11% thought they were ahead. This is self-reported survey findings, which means people report what they believe to be true of their retirement security, but it is not necessarily accurate – sometimes, individuals may underestimate how much they’ve saved, or worse, they might overestimate and face a potential shortfall come retirement. 

Older generations were more likely than their younger counterparts to feel behind. 

But the survey had some promising takeaways, too. More than six in 10 workers said they were saving as much or more than they were prior to the coronavirus crisis, though 14% said they were saving less, and 23% said they weren’t contributing before or now. Reasons for saving less included loss of income and additional expenses and debt. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exemplified just how important it is to save for the future, after it pushed more Americans to retire earlier than expected, and in some cases, tap into their savings accounts. 

Although not everyone has access to an employer-sponsored retirement account, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, workers earning income (or their non-working spouses) can contribute to an IRA.

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