A survey found that more than half of Americans have less than $25,000 in savings and investments excluding their homes, while 28 percent doubt they will have enough money to retire comfortably—a high in more than two decades of study.
The results come as the stock market sits near highs and the official measures show the economy is improving. Meanwhile companies are doing away with traditional pensions as rising life expectancy is set to increase liabilities in coming years by up to 5 percent.
Scott Ghelfi, 49 years old, a small-business owner in Falmouth, Mass., and his wife own two candy stores and a children’s clothing shop. He said they didn’t make their normal $24,000 contribution to their retirement plan two years ago because they couldn’t afford to take the money out of the businesses.
The total amount in the couple’s retirement accounts is less than $200,000, which he considers inadequate.
“Sales are fine, but we’re not growing rapidly like we were several years back, and everything is more expensive,” Mr. Ghelfi said.
He isn’t alone. The percentage of workers who have saved for retirement plunged to 66% from 75% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute survey.