Retirement goal expectations vs. reality: How Americans stack up


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Saving for retirement is one thing, meeting your goals in the golden years is another.

That’s where worry creeps in.

Among older workers, just 34% of baby boomers and 26% of Gen Xers feel like they’re on the right track with their retirement savings, according to a recent Bankrate survey.

Younger workers are more likely to say they are where they need to be. In fact, 45% of Gen Z and millennial workers feel somewhat optimistic.  

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And yet, Gen Z workers are the biggest cohort of non-savers, Bankrate also found. 

The average 401(k) balance among boomers is $220,900, according to the latest data from Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans.

Gen Xers have saved $153,300, on average, while millennials have $48,300 in a 401(k). For Gen Z, the average balance is $8,100.

There is often a disconnect between what people think they need for retirement and how much they are setting aside, said certified financial planner Douglas Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York. 

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“There’s a conundrum with expectations versus reality,” he said.

How much Americans think they need for retirement

They are also significantly more likely to have at least $100,000 in a retirement savings account, the report found.

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