Middle Class Ignoring Retirement-Savings Drumbeat

A Wells Fargo study suggests nearly half of middle-class Americans near retirement age won't be able to survive retirement with their current savings.

Middle Class Ignoring Retirement-Savings Drumbeat
Getty Images / Christopher Furlong

A new study shows the middle class isn't putting enough away to retire the way they want. If it seems like you've heard this financial drumbeat before, it's not your imagination.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS ANCHOR: "American workers aren't saving enough for retirement."

TOM SELLECK FOR FINANCIAL EDU: "But only a few will retire with financial security. Most will not. Why?"

DAVE RAMSEY"People don't save enough to retire on. Wow! You're kidding!"

OK, so it's a new study, not a new concept.

All the same, Wells Fargo reports the numbers — which are probably terrifying if you're familiar with the ant-grasshopper story — show 31 percent of the people the bank polled say they won't have enough to "survive" on in retirement. That increases to 48 percent of middle-class Americans in their 50s — the ones about to go on the Social Security that won't be enough to sustain their comfort levels.

Perhaps the most headline-grabbing stat? Twenty-two percent of the people polled said they'd rather die early than not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

As Money's Dan Kadlec notes, "Of course, the larger problem is that a sizable percentage of middle-class Americans are struggling financially and simply don't [earn] enough money to stash away for long-term goals like retirement."

People continue to insist they'll save "later," a strategy Wells Fargo — and really anyone with good financial sense — will tell you is a bad idea.

The bank's biggest recommendation? Get your 401K contributions going immediately with regular increases, and if you don't have one, do your best to contribute the max amount to an IRA.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.