(WHTM) — Many of us are dealing with rising prices, it is getting harder and harder to save. But, that can lead to bigger problems for you as you get older.

A new study shows Americans are not ready for retirement

Rita Assaf is the Vice President of Retirement Products at Fidelity. She said the average retirement score of Americans has dropped to 78.

“Americans have lived through a really challenging financial environment these past few years..think of the pandemic to market volatility to even the latest turmoil in the banking industry. So, it’s no surprise many feel uneasy about their long-term financial outlook,” Assaf said. “What this means is that Americans are now projected to have only 78% of the income needed to cover expenses in retirement.”

Assaf said there are two reasons for this drop. One is that people are investigating more conservatively and they are too afraid to be aggressive right now. The other reason is many people are just saving less for retirement.

“Even though Americans have more money saved since 2020, the amount they’re regularly contributing has declined with the biggest drop from millennials,” Assaf said. “How exactly do you determine what you’ll need for retirement? Fidelity has a rule of thumb to help you figure out how much you should aim to save. In general, try to save 10 times your income by age 67. We know that’s intimidating, but this is why it’s important to start saving early.”

The good news is that it is never too late to start planning for your future.

“Setting up a plan is easier than you think. For some, it’s simply setting up a goal. You want to figure out how much you should be saving regularly and which accounts to put those savings into.”Assaf said.

Assaf says to save up as much money as you can and make it work for you.

“Which means having the right investment mix of stocks, bonds, and cash based on how far you are from retirement and how comfortable you are with risk,” Assaf said.

You should also reevaluate your plan. That can mean taking a closer look at how much you’re putting into your plan or even putting off retirement so you can save more. The bottom line, no matter how old you are, the time to think about retirement is now.

“There’s no loan that you can take for retirement so starting early has its benefits..and even starting small has its benefits because you have time on your side,” Assaf said.

Another tip is that if your company has a 401K match program, take advantage of it. It may sound dire but according to that study, 15% of Americans will not be able to afford basic expenses during their retirement.