Too few Americans are adequately saving for retirement, speakers agreed at Pensions & Investments' third-annual Global Future of Retirement conference in Washington.
And they have some ideas on ways to fix that.
In talks throughout the three-day event that ended June 14, speakers outlined details of plans to solve what they described as a national retirement crisis that's been fueled by increasing longevity, better health care and a general lack of financial literacy.
“We need to turn our attention sooner rather than later to solving this retirement crisis, and the sooner we start, the better it's going to be for us all,” said Thomas R. Harkin, retired U.S. senator and senior adviser at the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement in his opening keynote address.
Mr. Harkin noted that half of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings, and among Americans between the ages of 40 and 55, the average retirement account balance is only $14,500. People are worried about their retirement, he said, and they're right to be.
“If we don't change course, the retirement crisis is going to get worse and worse.”
Mr. Harkin also warned that Social Security can't be relied upon to fill the retirement gap, a thought echoed by other speakers.