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Survey Says Middle Class Is Underprepared For Retirement [AUDIO]

These days many middle class Americans are struggling to make ends meet. More than half, 52 percent, say their most important day-to-day financial concern is paying the monthly bills.

Flickr User Eutrophication&Hypoxia

That’s up from 37 percent a year ago according to the annual Wells Fargo Retirement Survey. Saving for retirement is second, with only 16 percent saying it’s a key concern. Meanwhile, 53 percent of pre-retired Americans say they are not confident that they will have saved enough when it comes to leaving the workforce.

One-third of Americans say they’ll need to work until the age of 80 if they want to live comfortably in their retirement years. That’s up from 25 percent a year ago.

“Obviously, day-to-day pressures are causing people concern over how they can possibly fund retirement,” said Joe Ready Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo Retirement. “There is a crisis in middle class America as they teeter on the edge of a retirement cliff. One of the solutions for many of them is that they plan to work until they’re 80. But, we asked many of them whether their employer will let them work until that point and 73 percent, almost three out of four, said their employer will not allow them to work that long. So, working until the age of 80 isn’t really a reality.”

“The bottom line is that people just haven’t saved enough. The median answer today is that most have only saved about $25,000 for retirement,” said Ready. “First and foremost, you need to have a plan. Sit down with a financial advisor, develop a simplified plan which is really focused on how much money you’ll need in terms of annual income in retirement. A good rule of thumb is 80 percent pay replacement.”

“Once you calculate that amount and break it down into a monthly amount, take the next simple, easiest step and take advantage of your 401K plan. Get in there, join the plan, save as much as you can and try to take full advantage of the match,” said Ready. “If you don’t have access to a 401K plan, take a small step and open an IRA account even if it’s $10 a week. Start there and take small incremental steps and increase it over time. Just get started.”

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