Retirees: Get ready to live on $190 a month

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Are you prepared to live on $190 a month when you retire?

For most Americans in their 50s, that's all the personal savings they'll have to look forward to during retirement, according to Wells Fargo's annual retirement survey.

The survey, which polled nearly 2,000 middle-class Americans ranging from 20 to 60 years old, found that Americans aren't saving enough, they are underestimating the amount of money they will need in retirement, and they are more likely to end up working through retirement.

While most Americans predict they will need a nest egg of $300,000 to live on for 19 years in retirement, the average savings of 50-somethings is only $29,000, which comes out to an income of $190 a month over 20 years assuming a 5% rate of return.

"$190 a month is not going to cut it," said Laurie Nordquist, co-head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. "This reinforces the huge gap in terms of what people are going to need and what people have. They have a little time to add to that nest egg, but it's a huge shortfall to recover."

Even with Social Security or other sources of income, most people are not going to be able to cover basic needs with such a small amount of money, she added.

While you would think the recession is to blame for the lack of savings -- making it harder for people to tuck away money in retirement plans -- Wells Fargo found that people saved roughly the same amount during the recession as they did before.

According to the survey, only 33% of Americans have a detailed written retirement plan and 37% don't know how much the will need in retirement or how long they will be able to live on what they have saved.

"The last two years have been a wake-up call on some things on the financial front, but that wake-up call hasn't leaked into the retirement front," said Nordquist. "We're hoping that people in their 50s will realize that they need to take the time they have left to start making up that shortfall and creating a plan."

Unless that wake-up call comes, you could very easily find yourself working through retirement -- which more and more Americans are doing.

The survey found that 72% of Americans now expect to work through retirement, with 39% saying they will work because they have to and 33% saying they will do it because they want to. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.99%4.00%
15 yr fixed3.06%3.10%
5/1 ARM3.20%3.19%
30 yr refi3.99%4.08%
15 yr refi3.07%3.18%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,827.75 12.81 0.07%
Nasdaq 4,787.32 29.07 0.61%
S&P 500 2,072.83 5.80 0.28%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.03 -1.15%
Data as of 9:07pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 42.32 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 119.00 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 77.62 1.99 2.63%
Pfizer Inc 31.10 0.00 0.00%
Bank of America Corp... 17.11 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Nov 26

Sections

The European Parliament has voted to break up Google and weaken its dominance across the region. More

Warren called it "hypocritical" for the White House to oppose corporate inversions but nominate a person who has worked in this area. More

Two pilots encountered drones while flying over college football games and another pilot saw one while flying over the Hollywood sign. More

Natalie's Cakes and More has raised $84,000 through GoFundMe after protests trash store. More

Retailers are promising big deals this Black Friday, but are the savings actually worth the shopping mayhem? Test your deal-sniffing skills. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.