Study: Retirement prospects grim in many states

You probably don't need to be told that the United States is facing a retirement crisis. Study after study has shown that people just are not saving enough money for a life outside of the workforce. The latest analysis from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) took a look at the retirement readiness of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Not surprisingly, most states came up short in the key areas that the NIRS used to judge retirement readiness: anticipated income, major retirement costs and labor market conditions. According to "The Financial Security Scorecard: A State-by-State Analysis of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees," the best states for retirees are Wyoming, Alaska, Minnesota and North Dakota. The worst were California, Florida and South Carolina. 

"We conducted this study to drill deeper and understand better the scope of the nation's retirement crisis on a state basis," said Diane Oakley, NIRS executive director, in a press release. "Now, policymakers can identify the most urgent priorities for addressing the looming financial security challenges of the aging populations in their state."

Oakley also mentioned that the largest source of income for many retirees is Social Security, but it rarely provides enough for most people to meet their basic needs. For this reason, she said, local policy makers and job creators should consider enacting initiatives that encourage workers to save more, ensuring their self sufficiency once they leave the workforce. 

Key findings of the study include: 

  • All factors that could result in economic insecurity – savings, cost of living and employment – need to reviewed by policy makers and given proper attention. 
  • There is room for improvement in all states for financial security. Many people just need some help with retirement planning strategies. 

Individuals who want to preserve their wealth and retire comfortably should consider alternative approaches to accumulating income.