Friday, May 09, 2008

Wall Street Journal Retirement Quiz

The Encore Quiz: How Much Do You Know? at The Wall Street Journal is about how prepared people are for retirement. Of course, since My Wealth Builder is a personal finance blog, I was particularly interested in the financial parts of the quiz.

Here are some interesting answers from the money section:
  • 64% of workers are saving for retirement. Conversely, 36% of workers are not saving for retirement.

  • 23% of workers 55 or over have $250,000 or more in savings, not counting homes or the value of pension plans. In other words, 77% have less than $250,000 in savings.

  • 14% of U.S. households contribute to an IRA in 2006. It surprises me that 86% chose not to get the tax benefits of saving in an IRA.

  • 44% of U.S. households are at risk of not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement. If increasing health care expenses are included, 61% are at risk.

  • The last point is especially scary. To me, retirement is definitely not a good time to find out one is living beyond one's means, has too much debt, or hasn't saved enough. While there are no guarantees, spending less (and saving more) seems like a good start for a solution. Personally, I would rather spend less voluntarily while working than to be forced to spend less while in retirement.

    For a printout of the quiz questions and answers, click on this link.

    For more on Reaping the Rewards, check back every Friday for a new segment.

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    Todd said...

    Good post. It doesn't surprise me that 86% don't contribute to an IRA though. I think the reality is that most people think contributing a measly 6-10% in their 401k program is enough. It's kind of a shame that people are wasting valuable compounding time....