Among investors in the 21-to-34 and 35-to-50 age groups, 55% do not plan to contribute to their individual retirement accounts for the 2011 tax season, according to research by T. Rowe Price. Heavy debt was the leading factor for respondents, who said they'd rather pay down bills or save for emergencies than save for retirement. Last year, 71% of these investors made an IRA contribution. "Given their economic fears, it is understandable why many younger investors might be unable or unwilling to fund all of their tax-advantaged accounts and are focusing primarily on their 401(k) during this tax season," says T. Rowe Price financial planner Stuart Ritter.

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