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New AARP Survey Sheds Light on Washington Retirement Preparedness

401(K) 2012 via flickr

A new survey from AARP shows some disturbing trends when it comes to how much Washingtonians have saved for their eventual retirement.

Some of the results of AARP's retirement poll of 1,000 state residents show a general lack of preparedness when it comes to retirement planning.

Nearly half those polled have less than $25,000 saved, and a quarter have less than $5,000 tucked away, including 1 in 8 baby boomers, who will be retiring in the next few years.

Two thirds say they have never calculated how much money they will need to have when they stop working.

The organization's Doug Shadel says the survey also found that nearly a quarter of those in the survey don’t have access to a powerful tool--a workplace retirement account. But he says there is help on the way for those that don’t.

Shadel states, “A couple years ago, we supported a bill that creates a small business workplace for retirement system, where small employers can go to the state of Washington. This will be live in February of 2017. And they can sign up for free and allow their employees to have a simple IRA account so they can start saving for retirement.”

Shadel says data indicates those with workplace retirement accounts are 15 times more likely than those without the accounts to save money.

He also says another option is for folks to talk to their bank about options for retirement savings.

The AARP website has a special retirement calculator you can use to determine how much money you’ll want to put away before you stop working.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.