Nightly News | February 27, 2011
>>> the economic turmoil of recent years is putting a comfortable retirement at risk for many americans. those who save and invested money in 401(k)s and other plans and thought they had it made a new analysis finds many haven't saved nearly enough. nbc's lisa myers on how it happened and whether there's time to turn things around.
>> reporter: 64-year-old gloria m moss faithfully put aside money in her 401(k) for most of her working years and thought she'd be happily retired by now, but three years ago this divorced mother of two with a ph.d. went to a financial adviser and received the shock of her life. she had only half the money she needed to retire and maintain her lifestyle.
>> it was frightening and upsetting and i have to say, it's on my mind, it's in the back of my mind all the time.
>> reporter: many baby boomers are in even worse shape. a " wall street journal " analysis found that the average couple nearing retirement has less than one-fourth of what's needed in their 401(k) to retire at the same standard of living . the average 401(k) nest egg, about $150,000, enough to generate about $9,000 a year in retirement. experts say there's a huge lesson here for the next generatigenera generati generation. sigh net simon is a financial planner .
>> you can't save too much. save more than you think you have to.
>> reporter: many baby boomers bought so much house, experts is a say and spent too much on their children and lifestyle. the key rule for younger work exlive beneath your means. what fact do you think would shock people most?
>> probably that $1 million is not as much as you think it s.
>> reporter: experts say $1 million translates into 40 to $60,000 a year in retirement. so, what if you're near retirement and haven't save nufd?
>> they need to save more by cutting back on their expenses and, two, defer retirement, work at least three to five more years.
>> reporter: exactly what gloria moss is doing.
>> those nice things that i looked forward to doing, like traveling and have had to be eliminated.
>> reporter: even then it wouldn't be the retirement she had hoped for but she says she will find a way to enjoy it. lisa myers , nbc news, washington.