April 5, 2013

The March 20 articles by Michelle Singletary [“Many future retirees fail to play the numbers game”] and Michael A. Fletcher [“Survey: More Americans unprepared for retirement”] overlooked the elephant in the room: Many people are discouraged about reaching their retirement goals because, no matter how much they save through a bank, the annual percentage yield on their money is ridiculously low.  

Even if you are good about avoiding debt, no matter how much you save in non-risk bank accounts such as money-market accounts and certificates of deposit, you will have earned next to nothing from these products since the housing bubble burst in 2008. We can look forward to the day when interest rates will go up, but by that time it will be too late for many people, who will have no choice but to keep working past retirement age, provided that they are able to do so.

No wonder Americans are pessimistic about their chances of retiring comfortably, and it may have nothing to do with an unwillingness to set goals.

Susanne Humphrey, Wheaton