With all of the news about low 401(k) balances and half of the people in the country not being offered either a 401(k) or a pension plan, amazingly, an estimated 10% may be saving too much for retirement. That’s according to the estimates of Harvard University economist David Laibson.
About one in 10 have more than they need to retire on 70% to 90% of their pre-retirement income, but don’t know how lucky they are, Laibson tells Bankrate.com. He includes Social Security and home ownership in his calculations, along with 401(k)s and pension plans.
Interestingly, Laibson notes that these lucky 10% are made up of people from all income levels. However, those with lower incomes are likely to be supported quite adequately by Social Security, as long as they have built at least some housing and retirement wealth, Laibson said.
But the most critical leg of this three-legged stool, Laibson says, is workplace saving, be it a pension plan or an aggressively promoted 401(k) plan with auto enrollment and company matches. “The most important driver [of whether an individual ends up retirement-rich] is the savings institutions at the workplace,” he said.
On the other hand, the professor notes that roughly half of the employers in the country don’t offer a 401(k), which is why 60% of Americans are at serious risk of hardship in retirement.