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The Retirement Savings Gap Between Haves and Have-Nots Is Getting Bigger

Yeah, it's depressing, but there are lots of ideas how to alleviate the crisis, say the authors of a new report
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With the stock market up, the housing market largely recovered, and unemployment down, you'd think Americans would be in better shape to retire than they were in 2007. The opposite is true, according to a study released today by the National Institute on Retirement Security. While the value of 401(k) retirement savings accounts and IRAs hit a record high of $11.3 trillion at the end of 2013, the average American household isn't sharing in that wealth. The following three charts sum up the problem nicely.

While those of us lucky enough to have workplace retirement plans have benefited from the long bull market, a huge swath of America doesn't have retirement accounts such as 401(k)s or IRAs. Nearly 40 million working-age households don't have any retirement accounts, the report says. Whether someone has an account is closely tied to his or her income and wealth. Households with accounts have annual income that's 2.4 times higher than those that don't. The median retirement account balance when you look across all households? $2,500.