The largest group who has not started saving anything are 18 to 29-year-olds with 69% who have failed to begin any retirement plan.
The next age group, 30- to 49-year-olds, are not faring any better with 33% who haven't socked anything away either. Even a significant proportion of people closer to retirement age -- 26% of 50 to 64 year olds -- lack any savings. Among people 65 and older, 14% are deficient in their retirement fund.
The good news is that Americans who are saving are starting earlier - twice as many 30- to 49-year-olds started saving in their 20s as opposed to their 30s. But 50-64 year-olds were only slightly more likely to have started saving in their 20s than their 30s and Americans 65 and older were almost evenly split between starting in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
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"Regardless of age, there is no better time than the present to start saving for retirement," says Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride, CFA. "The key to a successful retirement is to save early and aggressively, but even those on the cusp of their golden years should have some money allocated toward equities as opposed to all cash and bonds."
Many consumers began their retirement savings in their 20s and are able to reap the benefits of company retirement plans, especially ones which match the contributions of employees.
"Each successive generation has started earlier than the generation before them," he said. "That's very encouraging because it means people are getting the message of the urgency of retirement of savings."