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Report: California Seniors Careening Toward Retirement Largely Unprepared

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A new report says California seniors need to do more to prepare for retirement. Credit: Kameleon007/iStockphoto.
A new report says California seniors need to do more to prepare for retirement. Credit: Kameleon007/iStockphoto.
October 15, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The senior population of California will grow by two-thirds over the next 20 years, and most workers are not saving enough for retirement.

The dire prediction comes in a new report from UC Berkeley released today called Aging California's Retirement Crisis: State and Local Indicators. Dr. Nari Rhee, manager of the Retirement Security Program at UC Berkeley's Center for Labor, says California's senior population is increasingly vulnerable.

"The fastest growing groups of seniors are age 80 and older, Latinos and Asians," she says. "In addition, women will continue to make up a majority of seniors. And these are the very populations that tend to have fewer resources in retirement."

The report is the highlight of a conference on retirement being held today in Sacramento. Another finding is that more than 6.2 million Californians do not have a retirement savings plan through their employer.

Blanca Castro, advocacy director with AARP California, which is co-sponsoring the conference, supports legislation coming next year that will establish the Secure Choice program – a retirement savings plan run by the state that would help Californians who don't have access to a 401K.

"The Secure Choice grants would be a vehicle for many people who currently don't have a way to save for retirement," she says. "Regardless of where you work, this savings program would always go with you."

The report also found that the Fresno and Los Angeles areas will face the largest populations of seniors who have no other retirement income apart from Social Security.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA