NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Too many Americans just don't seem to get it when it comes to retirement savings, which could cost them when their working years are done.

A study from E-Trade says 40% of working Americans would rather spend money on themselves than on their retirements, and that rises to 58% for those under the age of 34. Workers said they would use only 28% of employee bonuses toward retirement savings.

That study mirrors a long list of others that conclude Americans aren't taking their retirement savings seriously.

An October study from Wells Fargo said 34% of middle-class Americans hadn't contributed anything to an employee retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA plan, and that 41% of Americans age 50 to 59 have also not saved anything toward retirement. A full 61% of all middle-class Americans in the Wells Fargo study say they are not sacrificing "a lot" to save for retirement.

"Saving for retirement isn't easy," says Joe Ready, a director at Wells Fargo. "It requires sacrifice, and it's not something people can push off and hope to achieve later in life."

E-Trade advises people to change the way they think about retirement savings and take creative but diligent and disciplined steps to saving.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.