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MarketWatch reported a story recently that said you should save double your salary by the time you’re 35 for retirement, to which most people responded: how?

The truth is, MarketWatch staffer Rex Nutting reports, the typical American family has saved almost nothing for retirement.

In 2016, the Survey of Consumer Finances showed that typical family had $7,800 set aside, according to an analysis by Monique Morrissey of the Economic Policy Institute in the forthcoming “The State of American Retirement.” And the typical family headed by a person in their 30s had only $1,000 in retirement savings, including 401(k)s, IRAs, and defined-benefit pensions. Instead of having two years of salary saved up, they had one week.

These figures are medians — half the families had more, and half had less. The medians obscure the fact that a large number of families have no savings at all. Overall, 58% of American families have some retirement savings, but that means about 100 million American adults don’t have any.

Many Americans simply have too many other expenses and cannot save for retirement. Sometimes we forget that America is really two nations economically: There’s one vast group that struggles just to survive each month, and another smaller group that’s doing just great. Guess which group is
considered normal by the experts who are always quoted in the media.

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