SOA study: Most retirees more concerned than 5 years ago about retirement finances

Photo credit: Stuart Miles Photo credit: Stuart Miles

More than 6 in 10 retirees are more concerned about their retirement finances than they were five years ago, new research reveals.

The Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Ill., published this finding in a survey that presents results from the “2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey” relating to economic and financial issues. The survey polled 1,600 adults ages 45 to 80 to assess awareness of retirement risk, how their awareness has changed over time and how these perceptions affect the management of their finances.

The report reveals that retirees are nearly as likely as in 2009 (when SOA last conducted the same survey) to report they are more concerned than they were five years ago (prior to changes in the stock market and economy) about their retirement finances (62 percent in 2011 vs. 66 percent in 2009). While 7 in 10 pre-retirees feel the same way, they are less likely than in 2009 to say they are more concerned (65 percent vs. 79 percent), the study shows.

A majority of retirees (56 percent) and pre-retirees (61 percent) indicate their finances are worse than they were prior to changes in the stock market and  economy. One-quarter of each group say they are worse off.

However, the percentages of people who say they are worse off have declined from the levels measured in 2009 (retirees down to 56 percent, from 63 percent; pre-retirees down to 61 percent from 77 percent).

Economic uncertainty, the report observes, has made half of retirees and two-thirds of pre-retirees feel they need to do a better job of managing their finances or planning for retirement (52 percent of retirees and 66 percent of pre-retirees), and that they need to save more money (50 percent and 74 percent, respectively).

While two-thirds of pre-retirees (67 percent) also believe they have to work longer due to the recession, less than one-quarter of retirees indicate they have to go back to work (23 percent). Additionally, the report notes, 22 percent of retirees and 30 percent of pre-retires say they need more professional advice about saving and investing as a result of the last recession.

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