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Umbrella protecting from rain The very existence of separate rainy-day accounts enforces discipline in recognizing what savings can and can’t do. (Image: Shutterstock)

People are having a tough time saving—for health care, for retirement, for emergencies—especially since so many are living paycheck to paycheck and bending under the weight of student debt, credit cards and other financial obligations.

Retirement in particular is endangered by employees’ failure to save, since in times of financial trouble they tend to turn to their retirement accounts (if they have any) for a financial bailout. In fact, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, for every dollar that manages to make it into a 401(k) or similar account, between thirty and forty cents “leaks out before retirement.”

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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