If there's one thing that seems to characterize the average American's economic habits, it's a chronic inability to save for retirement.  In fact, some studies say that the vast majority of Americans nearing retirement are nowhere near financially ready to stop receiving steady paychecks.

Why is this so hard for us?  Of course, there are some easy answers to this question centered around living within one's means and investing.  But a lot of research and a historical perspective shows that this alone doesn't fully explain our unhealthy habits.

In the video below, the Motley Fool's Brian Stoffel delves into the deeper reasons why we -- collectively -- might be so bad at saving for retirement.  While the reasons aren't excuses, they might help you better understand your own situation, and convince you that things aren't as bleak as they may seem.