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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

Retirement Planning -- or Lack Thereof -- by Baby Boomers

Planning and saving for retirement? Hmmm...

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Retirement Planning Survey Among U.S. Adults Age 40 and Older conducted for AARP Bulletin

Saving for retirement is clearly one of the important financial goals for individuals age 40 or older, but also one of the major challenges this population faces.

Three-quarters of those surveyed see saving for their retirement years as very important.

Only one-third (35%), however, feel very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years.

The survey showed that many of today’s workers and retirees age 40 or older are concerned about their ability to cover various retirement expenses:

  • 28% of workers and 12% of retirees are not confident about having enough money in retirement to pay for their medical expenses
  • 40% of workers and 33% of retirees are not confident in their ability to take care of long-term care expenses, should they occur during their retirement
  • 15% of workers and 9% of retirees are not even confident they will have enough to take care of their basic expenses What are current workers doing to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead?
  • 44% have tried to conduct a retirement needs calculation
  • 68% have saved some money for their retirement
  • Accordingly, one-third of workers (31%) have not yet saved any money for their retirement;
  • 26% admit they are not confident they know how to determine how much money they will need to live comfortably in retirement.
  • In addition, the reported overall levels of savings and investments are rather modest.
The majority of those who have not yet saved any money attribute their inability to save to insufficient income, high everyday expenses, and a bad economy. It is also evident from the findings that workers are counting on employer-provided benefits for their retirement; their top three expected major sources of retirement income are:
  • an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, such as 401(k) (44%);
  • Social Security (39%)
  • A traditional employer provided pension (35%).

In comparison, current retirees derive their current income primarily from Social Security (58% note it as a major source), a traditional employer-provided pension (43%), and personal investments (32%).

At the same time, 40% of respondents who are (or whose spouse is) currently employed worry that that their employers will reduce or eliminate pension or health care benefits before or during their retirement.

In fact, in the last five years some of their employers have already...

  • Eliminated a traditional defined benefit pension plan (10%),
  • Froze or reduced existing traditional pension benefits (9%)
  • Changed a traditional pension plan into a defined contribution plan (15%)
  • Or reduced health care benefits (44%).

In addition, many are also faced with various types of debt. While the majority of workers (86%) feel confident they will pay off their debt (excluding their mortgage) by the time they retire, half of workers age 55+ (48%) who currently carry a mortgage are not confident they will pay it off before retiring, compared to 22% of workers age 40-54 who carry a mortgage.

Read more at the SOURCE: Focalyst.com



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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