These days, seeking a savings account that pays more than 1 percent annually can seem like an exercise in futility. At today's deposit rates, your savings are unlikely to even keep pace with inflation (currently at 1.5 percent).
The situation for those over 50 is, well, abysmal. Despite their age, many of the people in this group have relatively little in savings. A recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey revealed that 39 percent of workers over 50 report having less than $100,000 in savings, and 24 percent have less than $10,000 — this at a time when their retirement savings should be between eight and 11 times their annual incomes. In addition, this age group is traditionally less willing to accept the risks associated with pursuing higher rates of return, which makes it even harder to compensate for this type of shortfall.
If you're not among the over-50 crowd, how does this affect you? Aside from the paltry sums your short-term savings are likely earning, today's low yields may also put your own retirement fund behind schedule. To compensate, you'll either have to save more aggressively or remain in the workforce longer. In either case, you may also be competing with more retirement-age workers for jobs, who themselves may be trying to boost underfunded nest eggs.
How are you coping with low interest rates? Share your strategy! Have you found a savings account with an exceptional interest rate or a different vehicle to save for retirement?