As Americans' retirement nest eggs shrink, cost of retirement goes up

A new study from Northwest Mutual finds that Americans believe they need, on average, $1.25 million to retire comfortably. That's a 20% increase over last year, when Americans thought $1.05 million was sufficient to retire with relative ease. Unfortunately, retirement savings are moving in the opposite direction. MSNBC reports that "The average retirement nest egg has fallen 11% to $86,869, down from $98,800 a year ago."

Moreover, the expected retirement age has risen to 64, up from 62.6 last year.

The results, which were released by the firm on Tuesday, are based on an online survey conducted in February that included 2,381 adults ages 18 and up. Northwestern Mutual was not available for comment by press time.

Northwestern Mutual's report comes as another survey from found 55% of working Americans feel they are behind in their retirement savings as higher costs strain household budgets.