Survey: Economy Causes Workers to Stop Saving for Retirement

Financial strain, unemployment, and healthcare costs prohibit saving.

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Many Americans have stopped saving for retirement. Completely. A new survey found that 63 percent of Americans say they have given up tucking money into their nest egg. An additional 35 percent say they have reduced their retirement plan contributions.

But curtailed savings aren't due to a fully funded retirement account. Only 21 percent of survey respondents say they currently have $50,000 or more in investable assets, according to an Opinion Research Corp. and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. telephone survey of 1,005 adults conducted in mid-September.

Half of the workers say financial strain due to the economic downturn caused them to reduce or stop contributing to their retirement plan. Unemployment (32 percent) and healthcare costs (25 percent) were also cited as affecting their ability to save for retirement. Those who cut back the most were between 35 and 44 years old.

Some 43 percent of all age groups say they plan to save more in the future. But saying you will save more at some unknown future date means you lose out on all the compound interest between then and now.

Tell us, have you cut back on your retirement contributions?