Archive for Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Survey: Americans worry about funding a long retirement

May 20, 2008


— Americans worry that inflation and the rising cost of health care are increasing the risk that they will run out of money in retirement, according to a study released Monday.

The survey by the Society of Actuaries found that people already retired were most worried about inflation and affording long-term care. Pre-retirees, meanwhile, ranked affordable health care as their top concern, followed by inflation and long-term care coverage.

Overall, pre-retirees showed greater worries than those already in retirement, the study found.

Anna M. Rappaport, a consulting actuary based in Chicago and supervisor of the biennial report, said that one theory for the difference in the levels of concern could be that "for the pre-retiree, retirement is still an unknown."

Rappaport also said that Americans appear to be underestimating the financial impact of the death of a spouse. About 60 percent of those responding to the survey felt there would be little impact when a spouse dies, but Rappaport said surviving spouses often experience significant drops in income and benefit coverage, especially women.

She said Americans need to be more aware that longevity is a significant risk. She pointed out that among today's 65-year-old population, the average man is likely to live an additional 17 years and the average woman, 20 years.

The study found both a lack of understanding about investing - which can help people grow their savings above the rate of inflation - as well as inadequate savings levels. It also found that people "do not estimate their retirement needs well."

Still, Rappaport said, many Americans are considering a step that could help: working longer.

The survey involving more than 800 adults age 45 to 80 was conducted in mid-2007 by Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc. and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.


bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

If you think individuals are concerned wait until the federal government faces the facts and admits to the people it has over promised and underfunded to curry favor with voters over the past 45 years! Talk about a rude day of reckoning to come - unless programs and promises are reduced (CUT) or unless government assets like real estate and buildings are sold, or both, our national financial future is a train wreck waiting to happen. Become self reliant now and do not depend on Uncle Sam for a future minimal and bleak.

If the government can't protect the smallest and most innocent among us how can their assurances about our medical and financial future be any more certain?

kansascrone 9 years, 10 months ago

multi - my afterthoughts exactly.beawolf - if only life were that simple. while i agree with the philosophy of living withing our means, most of us don't figure in - getting divorced, losing a job due to downsizing, illness or death of a spouse or child, etc. (all the little curveballs that life throws at us) when purchasing that house, tv, car.

Evan Ridenour 9 years, 10 months ago

Maybe they wouldn't be as worried if they had SAVED INCOME AND INVESTED IT. At least they have a governmental hand out to prop them up even though they didn't adequately save for their own retirement. That is a luxury my generation won't have.Take responsibility for your own actions. Save income, don't blow it. Have assets, not debt. Simple solutions to actually having money for retirement... instead of whining about something that is completely and utterly your own fault.

beawolf 9 years, 10 months ago

It's not the size of the house or tv's and cars, it's about living within your means and teaching your children the same values. The article itself is pointless. Every generation since WWII has had the same concerns.

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