As of the first quarter of 2012, Americans had accumulated $9.2 trillion in their retirement accounts, according to estimates by the Urban Institute. This figure is just 3 percent below the all-time high in retirement savings reached in the third quarter of 2007, after adjusting for inflation.
Does this mean we are out of the woods regarding our prospects for retirement? Not at all. First, consider the demographics. With the large baby-boom generation in the process of retiring now, the value of the nation's retirement accounts should be in the stratosphere. Instead, we're still playing catch-up. Second, most workers have saved little. According to the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, 60 percent of workers have less than $25,000 in savings.