I recently read some interesting results from various surveys and reports that should concern anyone planning or living in retirement. One report from the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research found that a substantial percentage of people die with almost no assets. The researchers found that only 46 %of all seniors rely almost exclusively on Social Security for income and own less than $10,000 in assets at the time of their death. The study also found that seniors in poor health are more likely to live in poverty than those in good health.
The second, from the National Council of Aging concluded that Americans are confident but uncertain about aging. This survey found that more than 75 % of people between the ages of 60 and 69 expect their quality of life to be the same or better in the next five to 10 years. Although most of the respondents are confident about their financial situation, almost 25% of respondents have difficulty paying monthly expenses. As to be expected, long term care is a major concern and one-third of respondents are unprepared for the cost of such care. People most likely to need long term care are low to moderate income seniors – the group least likely to afford long term care.
According to a recent survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company Baby Boomers, those ages 55 to 65, are generally unprepared for retirement. One-third of this group is unsure how much they’ll need to cover their basic living expenses and more than 40% do not have an idea when to start planning.
What all this research indicates is that Americans need to start taking retirement planning and saving more seriously. While it may be too late for those in their later years, there is still time for Baby Boomers to save more, cut expenses and even work a little longer to help ensure they aren’t poor in retirement. It will also ensure that they have more than $10,000 to pass on to their children and grandchildren when they pass away.