Encore: Two-income couples are surprisingly unprepared for retirement — here’s one reason why

Every time we look at households’ preparedness for retirement, we find that two-earner couples are in the worst shape.

We generally attribute their status to the fact that one-earner couples receive a Social Security spouse’s benefit equal to 50% of the breadwinner’s while most two-earner couples do not. A recent study, however, suggests another problem: two-earner couples often do not save enough through their 401(k) plans.

Since two-earner households generally earn more than one-earner households, they need more savings. But only about half of private sector workers have a workplace retirement plan at any given time, and people rarely save outside of such plans.

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