NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's not exactly a secret that workers are falling behind on their retirement savings. A study from Bank of America Merrill Lynch ( BAC) shows that about 25% of soon-to-be-retirees will cash out of their career years with less than $250,000 in retirement savings. The study also shows that many Americans are struggling to meet adequate financial retirement goals, and that struggle is starting to take its toll. "Too often financial stress and the weight of uncertainty surrounding one's ability to accomplish their goals can cause them to remain inert and unwilling to look truths about their financial future in the eye," says Michael Liersch, director of behavioral finance for Merrill Lynch. "Recognizing that these challenges are in most instances not insurmountable, and admitting to one self that there are behavioral changes that can be made to address them, are simple but critical first steps. From there, even small, positive actions today can have a significant impact on improving near- and longer-term financial wellness."