The current economy has affected how nearly half of Americans approach IRA contributions, according to a Charles Schwab quarterly retirement pulse survey. Eighteen percent of those with an IRA are contributing less to their retirement account so they can cover every day expenses, 6 percent say they can't afford to contribute to both their 401(k) and their IRA and 10 percent have withdrawn money from their IRA.

It isn't all bad news. Fifteen percent of people with IRAs said they are now contributing as much as possible for retirement.

"It's not surprising that people's continued skepticism about the economy is impacting retirement savings habits," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. "While we understand the temptation – and sometimes necessity – to sacrifice retirement funds to cover shorter-term expenses, we continue to encourage people to maintain a long-term outlook and reinforce the importance of early and consistent retirement saving and planning."

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