By Jeff Brown, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Americans hoping to retire may be disappointed at the balance in their 401k’s when that time comes.

A new Bankrate.com survey finds a staggering number of Americans are robbing themselves of retirement savings.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

According to Bankrate.com’s senior analyst Greg McBride, “30 million Americans have touched their retirement savings in the past year in order to cover emergency expenses.”

Every financial planner will tell you ‘don’t touch your retirement account’. So why are people dipping into it?

McBride says, “When unplanned expenses pop up, they have few options at their disposal without that emergency savings.”

He explains that those getting hurt the most are people who are not careful with their finances – people who either have poor credit or are maxed out on borrowing capacity.

It’s people closest to the golden years who are robbing themselves.

According to McBride, “Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 are not only at a much higher propensity to tap their retirement savings for emergencies, but it comes at a time when those are the years when you really ought to be piling money into a retirement account.”

And consider this; 21 million Americans are not saving anything for retirement. But, it’s our kids who are looking good these days.

McBride says the millennials are doing a pretty good job and, “seem to be doing all the right things.”

“Setting money aside for emergencies makes them the least likely to tap their retirement account for unplanned expenses.”

And all this while retirement is decades away – for them.

Many Americans in the survey say they feel more secure about their jobs these days. But still, many say there’s no room for paying themselves.

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