U.S. headed toward retirement crisis: BlackRock's Kapito

With many Americans not saving enough for retirement, and a lot of that savings in cash, there is a retirement crisis coming if investors don't change their habits, BlackRock President Robert Kapito told CNBC on Monday.

"Cash is the wrong investment to make," Kapito said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"Bonds are a better investment. Equities are better. You can't save for the future in the future. You have to save today."

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Robert Kapito
Lam Yik Fei | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Robert Kapito

According to Kapito and BlackRock's newly released Global Investor Pulse survey, saving early is key to living comfortably in retirement. However, 75 percent of the 27,500 people polled reported that it's hard to pay bills and save for retirement at the same time.

"What surprises me is how much cash people are sitting in and not recognizing that if you are going to live longer, it requires you to save more because you'll be in retirement longer than the previous generation," Kapito said.

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He said that it's important not to time the market for investing, but rather to spend time in the market and invest early on.

One generation seems to have gotten a bit of a jump-start on its future—millennials. Of those surveyed, 76 percent said they feel confident they have the right investment approach to their overall goals.

"Millennials are saving and searching on social media for ways to save," Kapito said.

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This is partially due to the fact that millennials didn't go through the financial crisis with a lot of assets, he said.

"They weren't fazed by the memory we have of losing a lot of money, and they also feel like they have a lot more time, so they are actually investing for the future."

As for where to put your money in the market, Kapito suggests investing in larger-cap stocks that pay a dividend or anything that produces an outcome that has a longer-term stream.