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Local Study: 1 in 5 Utahns Will Likely Retire Poor Over Next 15 Years

A new study has found that 18% of seniors in Utah over the next 15 years will retire with more debt than savings. That’s 1 in 5 Utahns who are likely to retire poor.

The study commissioned by AARP Utah was released Friday and presented to State Treasurer Richard Ellis and other officials at the State Capitol. Jay Goodliffe is the chief methodologist for Notalys, the Provo-based group that did the study. He says unless people start saving a little more now, taxpayers are going to have to support a third of the retiring poor through state and federal programs.

“But if we can get people to save 10% more by nudging them a little bit in the right direction through what various programs that could be implemented,” says Goodliffe, “then we’re going to save tax payers a lot of money over the next 15 years; $194 million is what we project.”

Goodliffe says that’s equal to increasing personal savings from 10% to 11%. He says Utahns are generally much better off than those in other states because it’s so young.

“But, like every other state, Utah is having more and more people retire, so it’s a greater percentage of the population.”

Goodliffe says nearly half a million Utahns will be retirement age by 2030. He says simple, no-cost or low -cost incentive programs for small businesses could pay big dividends.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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