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UMaine Study: Retirees' Lack of Savings Burdening Taxpayers

BANGOR, Maine - A new study suggests that as more people retire, inadequate personal savings means the taxpayers will have to take on more of the burden. 

"With an aging Maine workforce moving into retirement increasingly reliant on public assistance, that cost to the state it likewise increasing," says Amy Gallant, advocacy director for AARP Maine, which commissioned the study.

States and the federal governments must address the barriers to saving for retirement, says Gallant, or the burden on taxpayers will continue to grow.

According to the research conducted by the University of Maine, last year Mainers aged 65 to 79 received $164 million in social services, with $28 million financed by the state. 

With the number of retired persons expected to grow by 30 percent over the next 15 years, the report suggests that the state's burden will bloom to $61 million over that period.

Gallant says a lack of employer-sponsored retirement plans is part of the problem, and she says some of the assets on which people once relied, such as housing equity and pensions, no longer provide the same value they once did.