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25 percent of Americans are saving $0 for retirement

Millennials are the worst age group when it comes to putting money away for their golden years.

By Money Staff May 23, 2014 5:05PM

This post is a staff report from partner site CNBC.

CNBC on MSN MoneyRetirement savings for about a quarter of Americans amounts to ... $0.

Broken egg © Tetra Images, CorbisOne in every four Americans is not saving for retirement at all, either because they are not thinking about it, do not really know how or, worse, do not feel they can afford to, according to a report by Country Financial.

Americans ages 18-29, often called “millennials," are among the worst when it comes to saving for retirement, the firm said. Nearly a third—32 percent -- aren't saving at all for their "golden years."

Many 20-somethings might just be pulling themselves out of the swamps of student debt, or maybe they just think retirement is too far in the future to worry about.

The latter might not be the best approach, said the report. Almost half of people 40 years or older claim to regret their retirement decisions.

But there may be some deeper problems at work.  Forty-six percent of those who aren't saving say they cannot do so on a middle-class income. That number has risen since 2011.

There are also knowledge gaps, though. Fifty-five percent of Americans don't know if they are participating in a 401k plan, and of the 45 percent who do, only three in 10 know how their money is being invested.

More from CNBC

May 23, 2014 5:39PM
Everyone should save for retirement. It's here before you know it. Just yesterday I was 18 and here I've been retired for over 15 years. It's much more fun to be retired when you have money to do fun things. I know it's hard to think that far ahead, but once you start saving it's easy.  The hardest part is starting. Just bite the bullet and do it! You won't be sorry.
May 23, 2014 6:21PM
Many folks cannot handle $$$$......period.
May 23, 2014 5:39PM
"One in every four Americans is not saving for retirement at all, either because they are not thinking about it, do not really know how or, worse, do not feel they can afford to"

You can't save what you don't have. Now expect a slew of posters stating how folks should live below their Means, etc, etc.  Those Folks will push the Myth of saving for Retirement without even having a Livable Wage that makes that possible. Most Folks that can save, don't need article after article explaining what to do with it. Everyone else, they are feeling lucky just to make it to the Next Pay Check after cutting everything to the Bone. Far too many Folks living with Alice in Wonderland.
May 23, 2014 10:14PM
In America, we have our priorities messed up!!!

Like some other guy said in these comments, we spend too much money on things that nobody else in the world spends money on - clothes dryers, cable TV, dining out every day, dish washers, etc. etc.

Here's the path to retire on your own terms, in 7 steps:

1) Pay off your debts as fast as you possibly can. If this means living in a crappy studio apartment and eating ramen everyday for a couple of years, do it. If you want to buy a car, get a reliable beater. Get insurance for $25/month from Insurance Panda. Forget about buying a house until your debts are paid off.

2) Once you are out of debt, stay out of debt. The only exception to this rule is a vehicle and a house. If you want to get a nicer car, buy used and be able to pay it off in a year or 2.

3) If you are going to stay in the same spot for at least 10 years, buy a house, preferably with at least a little bit of usable land. An acre is good, 5 acres is better. Take the amount you are pre-approved for and cut it in half - that's how much you should spend on a house. Come to the table with at least 20% down and make a couple of extra mortgage payments every year. If you're going to be transferred or relocate every 5 years, forget about buying a house and rent instead.

4) Develop multiple revenue streams. Do contract work. Start a business on the side. Invest in a business as a silent partner. Raise chickens, breed dogs or grow apples. Build websites. Buy and sell antiques. Acquire rental property. Sell something that generates residual income. Learn to play the currency markets or trade stocks. Do whatever you can to generate income from multiple sources.

5) Grow these multiple revenue streams to the point that they generate enough consistent and reliable cash flow to replace your current income.

6) Make as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Give away as much as you can.

7) Retire!- the sooner, the better. Be sure you understand that "retirement" doesn't necessarily mean you stop working, it just means having the freedom to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Don't be foolish and fall into the trap of trying to measure your wealth by the value of your assets. Markets change. Valuations fluctuate. Instead, measure your wealth by the amount of cash flow your assets consistently generate.
May 23, 2014 6:22PM
Start saving.  It's not that hard.  You know what is hard?  Realizing you'll have to be a greeter at Walmart when you're 70 because you didn't save.
May 23, 2014 10:14PM
Almost 50 million on food stamps.  Hard to save food stamps!

Since Obama took office, 13 million more Americans have become dependent on food stamps, with the numbers now hitting a record 47 million — about a third more than when he was sworn in. In 2007, there were 26 million recipients. Spending on the scheme has more than doubled just since 2008. The explosion of the program, along with other welfare schemes, has resulted in countless commentators and critics labeling Obama “the Food Stamp President.”

I know, I know it's Bush's fault! 
May 24, 2014 11:26PM
Why is President Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" not applicable to those in Congress! Many of our issues could be resolved if they actually did their jobs for the American people and not special interests or just their party.
May 23, 2014 6:26PM
25% of American have no money to save. Bills go up, jobs get lost. What do you expect.
May 24, 2014 9:45PM
Just because someone is on food stamps it does not mean they deserve or really need them.

May 23, 2014 7:43PM
There's a lot more so-called upper middle class that aren't saving either, trying to keep up appearances, they're  over financed and deep in debt. Think I don't know, I was one of them! Forced by my own overspending I had to file for Chapter 13 in 2010. I have 13 payments left and currently the only debt I carry is my mortgage, plus expenses, food etc. I'm funding a 401k at work and spending everything else, but no credit cards and no loan payments. #doingitright
May 23, 2014 6:34PM
One in every four Americans is not saving for retirement at all,

It might be  because there is too much week at the end of the paycheck.
May 24, 2014 9:30AM
Why should they save? They'll all used to an entitlement state of mind. They've gotten what they want from the government and their parents so far. They will just expect that to continue.
May 24, 2014 11:27AM
Who feels comfortable about saving in U.S. dollars. The 401k particularly, and getting a fair deal in 20-30 years on taxes and returns? The dollar probably won't  exist as we think of it today in 20 years, if at all. 
May 27, 2014 9:59AM
I'm in my 40's and can't afford to put any away, inflation is eating away my paycheck and the rest is taken in taxes to support the moochers. Such is life in an obamanation!!
May 24, 2014 9:41AM
Poster states, "Can't save what you spend. Smart cell phones, satellite/cable TV, high speed internet, designer clothing, upside down on new car loans, organic food, on and on. We consume and spend on things we really don't need. Perhaps you need to reevaluate your spending, and determine if keeping up with the Joneses, or having some money in the bank, is your priority. Your first bill every month should be to yourself..."

So why do so many posters always want others to assume you have a Problem of saving and or Spending just because you realize the Global Issues of Record Wealth Creation at the same time of Record Poverty Levels. By doing so, they avoid the Real Conversation and that was their Goal from the very Beginning.

The only spending anyone is really aware of is their own. However the JOB issues and types are available to everyone. As are the Cost of Renting, Buying a Home or Car, and soaring Inflation. Most Workers haven't had a Raise in over a Decade in spite of working Harder, Longer, and being more Productive. Yet the same Fools want everyone to think it's always a YOU problem when clearly it's far more Complex then that. And it always has been.
May 26, 2014 12:08PM

I can imagine how it would feel to work and not save for retirement.  I was there in my 20s.  Just before leaving that decade, I took a serious look at the vicious cycle that essentially boiled down to allowing everyone else to pick over the carcass that was my paycheck - leaving me a rotting mess of sun scorched bones to deal with.  I started very small, slowly and regularly paying myself first.  Soon, I had an emergency fund (priority #1). Next was tackling debt AND retirement saving.  Fast forward many years - that rather large decision to take very small steps has miraculously resulted in the real possibility of retiring early. Already debt free, yes, that means the mortgage is fully paid (and did that feel special).

It can be done - just a simple examination and change in thought process - nothing more elaborate than that. There's absolutely no one out there that will care about your senior self more than you will. It feels great to have the confidence to say - I'm doing it. 

May 23, 2014 5:34PM
Why the hell would or could an 18 to 29 save for retirement.  Those are the years you make barely enough to survive and get started, and they are mostly dealing with debt.  A statistic on the over 50 crowd might be of some interest, ie: What percent of the over 50 crowd is saving for retirement?
May 23, 2014 7:28PM
My "“millennial" daughter and her husband got an education and make a darn good living.

My baby boomer wife and I got an education in the mid 70's--and have a 7 figure portfolio.

See a pattern?--stupid and broke go hand in hand.
May 24, 2014 12:44AM
maybe they are not saving much?? but i bet they are ALL DRIVING BOSS NEW CARS! ya ok you punks go ahead and spend it now ............. and cry later LMFAO!
May 27, 2014 3:29AM
Hard to save when middle-class wages have been stagnant - accompanied by rising prices and a depreciating dollar........thank you Fed.
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