QoD: What percent of households led by someone 55 or older have NO money saved for retirement?

Apr 03, 2019
Savings, Question of the Day

Answer: 48%

Note: DB is a defined benefit retirement plan or pension. 


  • What income can seniors receive in retirement if they have no savings?
  • Why do you think almost 1/2 of Americans households headed by someone 55 and over have no retirement savings? 
  • What is one huge disadvantage for those who start saving for retirement in their 50s? 
  • Will this information influence how you think about saving? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (GAO):

We found that the percent of households headed by someone aged 55 and over that had no retirement savings decreased from about 52 percent in 2013 to about 48 percent in 2016.


Here's an inspiring story (and activity) that demonstrates that it's not how much you save but rather how soon you get started and how consistent you are. It's the story of the $8 million janitor!


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.