Skip to Content

America's $4 Trillion Retirement Gap

About half of Americans are financially on track for retirement, but the other half are falling well short.

America has a stunningly large $4 trillion retirement-savings gap. That is a big number. But that may not even be the worst news: Like much of American society, retirement preparedness is separated into the have and the have-nots, with the latter facing long odds to achieve anything resembling a decent retirement.

First the overall numbers: The estimated $4 trillion deficit (actually $4.13 trillion) comes courtesy of the thoughtful researchers at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. EBRI has actual account data for 24 million 401(k) participants and 20 million IRA holders, and thus is in a better position than just about anyone to estimate the size of the American retirement-savings gap. EBRI's sophisticated projections contain estimates for a variety of complicated variables, ranging from future defined-benefit income and Social Security proceeds to net housing equity and potential in-retirement medical costs.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.