To make matters worse, half of today's private-sector workers don't have any employer-sponsored retirement plan at their current jobs, according to the book "Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It," by Charles D. Ellis, Alicia H. Munnell and Andrew D. Eschtruth. Many of us will need more income during retirement than did previous generations, due to longer life expectancies and rising health-care costs.
"The fundamental problem," when it comes to retirement, "is that most people don't have much in the way of savings," said Anthony Webb, a senior research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. "The solution to not having enough is to have a boatload of money. The question is: How do you acquire a boatload of money?"
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If you are off-track when it comes to retirement savings, the obvious solution is to begin stashing away a huge percentage of your income, Webb said. But many people in their 40s and 50s are unwilling or unable to make that kind of sacrifice, he added. So then what?
Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Delay retirement. Retirement-planning experts say it behooves us to resist the temptation to call it quits in our early 60s, provided we don't have very physically taxing jobs. Putting off retirement has several potential benefits. It means more time to save and invest and, for better or worse, a shorter life expectancy during retirement.