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Survey shows cross-generational concerns about retirement savings

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A new survey underscores calls for laws to make it easier for people to accumulate savings, and Minnesota voices hope to spark more conversation about it.

An AARP survey says 63% of voters age 25 plus are anxious about having enough money to last through their retirement years. Some 92% back legislation to create more savings opportunities on the job, to be deducted from paychecks.

Kate Schaefers, volunteer state president of AARP Minnesota said that kind of policy not only prepares younger age groups for their golden years, but also to be ready for critical needs along the way.

“As we’ve seen some erosion of our middle class over the years, it’s really important to look at starting early with saving practices,” said Schaefers. “So that people are prepared for those opportunities when they need to have money in the bank, but also for retirement.”

A proposal in Congress would require employers to set up automatic retirement accounts if not already offered. Some states have similar laws on the books, but Minnesota isn’t among them.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocates for plans set up by individual employers rather than states.

Schaefers said it’s important for different age groups to share their experiences in navigating the savings maze. As for people nearing retirement age who lack the necessary funds, she said she thinks employers should provide more flexibility to allow them to keep working.

“I know that this pandemic has had a huge impact on older workers,” said Schaefers. “And I think as we come out of it, providing those opportunities for people to be safe in the workplace, while still also continuing to work at some capacity, is going to really help people, financially.”

Also from the survey, only three in ten voters between age 25 and 44 believe they’ll have enough money for retirement. For those 45 and older not yet retired, 81% wish they had more set aside.