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Are you too broke to retire?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

How can you think about retirement planning when you can't pay your bills on time?

Gen Xers -- people in their early 30s through early 50s -- have the least amount of confidence that they will be able to retire comfortably and are most likely to borrow money from their retirement funds, according to a study by PwC, a financial advisory service that works with employers.

That doesn't seem very surprising. When you are in your 20s and early 30s, retirement is too far away to worry about. By the time you reach your 40s and 50s, your responsibilities have multiplied. Just buying groceries and paying tuition bills is enough to leave you broke.

In fact, 49 percent of the Gen X respondents told PwC that they can't afford to pay their household bills on time each month. By comparison, 31 percent of baby boomers and 30 percent of Millennials -- who are younger than 32 -- say they face this kind of cash flow problem.

Meanwhile, workers' confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is low across the board. At no age does retirement confidence reach 50 percent, according to the survey.

Retirement confidence by age

Age Percentage who are confident
21-34 36
35-44 37
45-54 24
55-64 37
65-plus 44

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PwC says it is urging companies to help remedy their employees'  problems by "implementing holistic and proactive financial wellness programs that help their employees deal with the stresses of competing financial priorities."

I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound like a raise.

How confident do you feel about your ability to retire -- and what are you doing about it? Short of giving you a raise, what could your employer do to help?

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Joe Truttman
June 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Basic question: Is it really your employer's responsiblity to ensure you have a viable retirement plan?

June 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

I am not confident about being able to retire before age 70, and even then, have my doubts.

I have no pension and my employer eliminated the 401k match in 2009, then eliminated the plan all together in 2010. Obviously, if they re-implemented the plan with a match, preferably with a roth option, it would help. I am maxing my Roth IRA on Jan 1 of each year, building savings outside of that and might start pre-paying my 4% mortgage for the guaranteed/low risk portion of my wealth building. Beyond that, I will consider "tax efficient" mutual funds, probably by Vanguard.