We're Not Spending Time on Our IRAs -- or Money

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Americans are more likely to spend two hours choosing a restaurant or shopping for a tablet computer than even two hours planning their individual retirement accounts, according to data from TIAA-CREF.

Not only that, but fewer people are opening up an IRA. Only 17% of Americans are contributing to an IRA this year, compared with 22% in 2012.


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Those numbers come from a survey of 1,008 adults on their outlook on retirement saving and where it fits in their lives.

The financial services industry has spent decades touting IRAs as a useful retirement investment tool for Americans, but most people don't seem to be buying what the industry is selling -- literally.

"An IRA can be an incredibly powerful savings tool that can boost retirement security and offer immediate tax and savings benefits," says Doug Chittenden, executive vice president for individual business at TIAA-CREF. "IRAs can also serve as a valuable supplement to an employer-sponsored plan and help fund a first home or education."

Yet almost half of all U.S. adults (47%) who don't have an IRA say they would consider opening one, a figure that's down from 57% last year.

This comes at a time Americans' retirement savings are disturbingly low.

The Employee Benefits Research Institute says 57% of U.S. adults have $25,000 or less saved for retirement and 49% say they are "not confident" about retiring with enough money to live comfortably for 20 years or longer.

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