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Much has been written about the "sandwich generation" -- middle-aged Americans who are caught between their financial obligations to elderly parents and to their children, while they also try to prepare for their own retirement years.
Yet millions of Americans face an even bigger bind: More than one-third of all working-age adults haven't managed to save any money toward retirement, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com. The personal finance site found that 26 percent of people 50-to-54-year-olds and 14 percent of those age 65 and older have no savings.
The survey of over 1,000 adults living across the U.S. also found that 69 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds and a third of 30-to-49 year-olds have yet start putting something away for their later years.
The Bankrate findings jibe with other research that illustrate the dearth of retirement savings. The median retirement account balance for all working-age households in the U.S. is $3,000, and $12,000 for near-retirement households, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security.
The news isn't all bad. Those who are saving for retirement are starting earlier than in the past. And Millennials -- people born between 1980 ad 2000 -- at least feel more financially secure than any other age group surveyed, which may account for their lack of retirement savings.
Of course, preparing for retirement in a post-recession economy is easier said than done. A recent CBS News poll found that about 70 percent of working Americans are finding it hard to save for retirement at all, as they attempt to pay bills and meet their basic living expenses.
Only 18 percent of U.S. workers say they are very confident of having enough money to live comfortably during their retirement years, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.