Retiring broke: millions of people are not saving enough money

Is this your retirement fund? (Source: NBC12)
Is this your retirement fund? (Source: NBC12)
Updated: May. 15, 2018 at 5:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Are you saving enough money for retirement? Millions of people are not, and that's a huge problem - the amount of money people need in their 70s and 80s is only getting bigger.

Construction worker Marcello Barra loves building everything, except a savings account.

"I haven't thought about it too much, though I know I should be," Marcello Barra.

He's got plenty of company. A national survey this spring by found that 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings.

One in five Americans isn't saving so much as a dime.

"We have a real problem of people retiring into poverty if we don't turn the tide," said Barbara Stanton from AARP.

There's Social Security, but the average benefit right now is only $1,400 a month. That won't go far, and there's always a chance the government might once again raise the age of eligibility.

"You just don't want to put all your apples in one basket," says NBC12 Financial Expert Carl Carlson.

Saving money now is one of the most important steps you can take.

"Even small amounts - you know, 50 bucks a month, 25 dollars a month - and then that's something you can build on," said Carlson.

The top reasons people give for not saving in the GoBankingRates survey: they don't earn enough money, and they struggle just to pay their bills.

"A simple thing is just every time you get a raise, take half of that and put it into a 401k, and if you just do that simple thing over the years, you're not going to retire broke," said Carlson.

"Even with my husband retired now, I still get excited at the end of the month...if I can save a little money." Said Beverly Dillow.

She's approaching retirement and she's been preparing for a long time.

People like her, getting close to retirement, can't afford a high degree of risk with their money, like wild swings in the stock market.

If you're young, close your eyes, save the money, invest it, own stocks; but the closer you get to retiring, the more frugal you want to be.

"People are living a lot longer, so you  have to have more money," adds Carlson.

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