Allison Stanton works for a small marketing firm in Miami. She loves her work and has received one promotion at her company. But the organization she works for does not offer a pension. This is not of major concern now, but it is something she thinks about from time to time.
"I love what I do and I don't want to leave the company I work for. But I wonder what will happen when I retire or if I will get to retire. I really can't save a lot of money because what I earn has to go to paying everyday bills. And I like to travel and eat out," said Stanton.
She is among a growing number of young and even middle aged people who would like to retire one day but don't really know how they will have the money to do so. Many small to midsized companies don't offer pensions or even 401(k) plans. Also, many younger people don't spend longer periods of time with the same company as their parents and grandparents did. They may work for five or six companies in a career. Some switch industries and may have multiple careers.
"I have worked in restaurants as a bar tender and waiter most of my working life. They money has been good and I love the flexibility. But I know of few restaurants that offer a full pension plan. Most people just don't stay with restaurants that long. I myself have moved around a lot," said Jose Hernandez, a Miami waiter and bar tender.
Older people are starting to realize they don't have much money in their bank account after years of working. Many have spent heavily to send their children to college or to pay expensive medical bills that can happen later in life. They are in their early 60s but realize they will have to work much longer just to survive.
"I have worked in the retail industry for 50 years. I am past the age of 70 but I still have to get up and work everyday. I don't always life working with customers but I have to make a living. I spent most of my money on my family. I sent three children to college. I have very little money left over at this stage of my life," said Betsy Towers.
"More people need to be saving for their retirement. I don't think it is a good idea to expect the government or a company to take care of you later in life. The economy is just too unpredictable," said Melanie Shafer.