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A lot of folks have empty nest eggs.
A third of people (36 percent) in the U.S. have nothing saved for retirement, a new survey shows.
In fact, 14 percent of people ages 65 and older have no retirement savings; 26 percent of those 50 to 64; 33 percent, 30 to 49; and 69 percent,18 to 29, according to the survey of 1,003 adults, conducted for Bankrate.com, a personal finance website.
"These numbers are very troubling because the burden for retirement savings is increasingly on us as individuals with each passing day," says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. "Regardless of your age, there is no better time than the present to start saving for your retirement. The key to a successful retirement is to save early and aggressively."
Other recent research confirms that many people aren't saving enough for their golden years. About 36 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined-benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60 percent of workers have less than $25,000, according to a survey of 1,000 workers from the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates.
Many people realize that they are not on track in saving for retirement, and the two most important reasons they give are cost of living and day-to-day expenses, says Jack VanDerhei, the institute's research director.
He advises people to join the 401(k) plan if their employer offers one and to make sure to contribute at least enough to receive the maximum employer match. "Contributing anything less than that is leaving free money on the table," he says.
Read MoreThe millennial retirement problem
Other findings from the Bankrate.com survey:
"Month in and month out, consumers sound a dour tone about how they feel about their overall level of savings," McBride says. "Many people know they are under saved, whether it's for emergencies, retirement or both."
—By Nanci Hellmich, USA Today.