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Retirement ready? No, but Minnesotans are closer than most

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A new state-by-state scorecard looks at who is financially ready for retirement. And guess who's ready?

Uh, ... nobody.

But the analysis by the National Institute on Retirement Security found Minnesotans to be in better shape than residents of nearly any other state, USA Today reports.

The group looked primarily at the anticipated income of retirees, the costs they'll face, and the labor market for older workers. As Financial Adviser magazine reports, only Wyoming and Alaska came up with a higher score than Minnesota. North Dakota ranked fourth.

But the report's bottom line is that Americans in every state have some work to do to be ready for retirement, and every state has room for improvement in helping them prepare.

The institute's executive director tells USA Today some states are considering policies that would encourage workers to save more for retirement. The newspaper also spoke with a financial planner who says those future retirees also need to do all they can by eliminating debt and taking extraneous spending out of their budgets.

Taking part in retirement plans is another important step. Pensions & Investments notes the institute's analysis found the average participation rate in workplace retirement plans was 46 percent in 2012 and in no state was participation better than 54 percent.

Cox Newspapers looked last month at Baby Boomers' poor preparedness for retirement and cited a National Institute on Retirement Security figure that only 57 percent of the U.S. workforce has access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Pensions & Investments says the top four states on the scorecard all offer comparatively strong labor markets and low retiree costs. Overall, the report found that for older workers the unemployment rate is going up and wages are going down.

The institute says the scorecard is designed for policymakers to help states identify policies that would improve Americans' retirement prospects.

Read a summary here or find the full report here.

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