Survey Reveals Most Aren't Trying To Figure Out How Much They'll - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Survey Reveals Most Aren't Trying To Figure Out How Much They'll Need For Retirement

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Mark Vastine, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Mark Vastine, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

WMDT 47 News – Just how much do you have tucked away for your golden years? Is it something you're even thinking about? According to a new survey, most are not.

"I don't save at all for my retirement--definitely not," Meghan Rollyson of Salisbury, Md. said.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute found about a third of American workers have less than a thousand dollars in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not including their primary residence or defined benefits plans.

"Life is very expensive nowadays," Abu Osman of Salisbury, MD said.

"Things are going up. Gas is going up, electric, you know, a lot of things are starting to get higher, because of cost of living," Ashely Tilghman of Salisbury, Md. said.

Only 44 percent of those surveyed say they've tried to calculate how much money they'll need to save so they can live comfortably in their golden years.

"It seems far off. When you get out of school, your first thought is getting a job, getting settled, moving on with your immediate dreams. The retirement reality doesn't often set in until you hit about forty," financial advisor at Edward Jones Mark Vastine said.

Vastine says the moment to start planning for retirement is the moment that you enter the workforce.

"It's to educate yourself so that you know what you're up against and really what it is you want your money to do for you in the long term."

So how much are you supposed to save when you're in your 20', 30's and 40's? Well, there's no one size fits all. You have to calculate in your debt and spending factors, like marriage and kids. It really depends on how you want to spend the rest of your life.Do you want to travel the world, move to Florida or be a homebody? Your retirement goals are going to evolve as life goes on, so re-evaluate your retirement and savings goals at least once a year. Vastine also recommends that every time you get a pay raise, you should give yourself a savings raise too.

"Time passes quickly and it gets faster with every passing year, so it helps to have that plan in place early," he said.

Take it from Jeffrey Camverger. At just 20 years old, he's already developed some good savings habits.

"I try to save about at least 30 percent of every pay check. I don't have any student debt. I work full-time and go to school part-time or full-time, depending on what I can pay for each semester to make it so that I don't have any student debt. I was raised in a family where they taught good financial skills. Saving is important," he said.

Speaking of student debt, a whopping 40 million Americans owe a collective $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. That's more than every other type of household debt except mortgage debt.

"The growth in student debt has been increasing at a rapid rate, as well as the fact that students are not able to get the right kind of jobs that will lead them to a stable career. I think the recession has really impacted the private markets in a big way," Assistant Professor of Finance at Salisbury University Dr. Leonard Arvi said.

So with students having a harder time paying off their loans, how can they possibly save for their future?

"Dealing with debt is another piece of your financial plan. Really, the answer is in many ways the same. You have to factor that into your plan. Your debt servicing is going to be part of an individual's cash flow every month. So they're going to have to pay for that mortgage, pay for those student loans, pay for that car. It's looking at that and looking at opportunities to lower the debt burden. You can't refinance student debt, but there might be other pieces of your life that you can do that," Vastine said.

The survey also found that debt is weighing heavily on many people, with 58 percent of workers and 44 percent of retirees saying they have a problem with their level of debt.

If you don't know how to come up with a plan, hire a financial advisor who can help you set realistic goals.


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