The Retirement Savings Gap: Where Do You Rank?

Good news: 22 percent of American workers are “very confident” about having enough money to retire comfortably.

That’s up from 18 percent last year, and an increase from a record low of 13 percent during the recession.

The numbers come from the Employee Benefit Research Institute‘s 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, which the nonprofit says is the country’s longest-running survey of its kind.

Among respondents who have a retirement plan, the percentage of people who are very confident they’ll have enough cash to retire comfortably has doubled since 2013 — from 14 percent to 28 percent.

Among respondents who lack a plan, that percentage is “statistically unchanged,” according to EBRI — 10 percent in 2013, 12 percent in 2015.

Now the bad news: Most respondents — 57 percent — report their savings and investments total less than $25,000, excluding the value of their primary home and any employee benefit plans. EBRI’s savings breakdown:

  • Less than $1,000: 28 percent
  • $1,000 to $9,999: 17 percent
  • $10,000 to $24,999: 12 percent
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 9 percent
  • $50,000 to $99,999: 10 percent
  • $100,000 to $249,999: 10 percent
  • $250,000 or more: 14 percent

Part of the reason Americans might find themselves short on retirement savings is because they unexpectedly retire sooner than planned, mostly due to health problems or disability.

Some workers choose to shortchange their retirement savings, however.

Most — 67 percent — admit that it’s possible for them to save $25 more per week than they currently do. When asked where they could cut costs, respondents offered the following areas:

  • Eating out or takeout food: 46 percent
  • Soft drinks or snacks from vending machines: 13 percent
  • Movies, videos, DVDs or streaming: 12 percent
  • Coffee from specialty shops: 11 percent
  • Lottery tickets: 8 percent

Lucas Vandermillen, vice president of retirement services for Principal Financial Group, one of the EBRI survey sponsors, tells CNN Money that an extra $25 saved each week “would make a huge difference in their retirement savings, especially for a young worker.”

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