Our Financial Failings by Neil Irwin, Washington Post:
It has about $3,800 in the bank. No one has a retirement account, and the neighbors who do only have about $35,000 in theirs. Mutual funds? Stocks? Bonds? Nope. The house is worth $160,000, but the family owes $95,000 on it to the bank. The breadwinners make more than $43,000 a year but can’t manage to pay off a $2,200 credit card balance.
That is the portrait of the median American household as painted by the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
Saving for retirement is not complicated, it is just a matter of priorities. Most people care more about a Starbucks coffee each day (or season tickets, or new shoes, or a new car every couple of years or…) today than saving money for retirement. In a capitalist society we believe in letting people make their economic choices. The choices most of us make (in the USA) lead to the results above.