According to a recent study by the Society of Actuaries, few retirees have a financial plan despite becoming increasingly concerned about their retirement risk.
Specifically, The 2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey found protection against inflation, the ability to pay for healthcare and the cost of long-term care were all top concerns among the 1,600 respondents of ages 45 to 80. Half of those surveyed were retirees while the other half were still in the workforce.
Pre-retirees were found to be more concerned about keeping the value of their savings and investments up with inflation, having enough money to pay for adequate healthcare and long-term care, coping with the depletion of their savings, being able to maintain a reasonable standard of living for the rest of their life and dealing with varying income due to interest rate changes. However, even with their increased rate of concern, pre-retirees still overlooked some important components, the study found.
"Except for health coverage, insurance products such as annuities and long-term care insurance are not seen as major components of retirement planning," said actuary and retirement expert Anna Rappaport, chairperson of the Society of Actuaries' Committee on Post-Retirement Needs and Risks. "As a result, many retirees continue to be at risk of running out of assets and having to rely solely on Social Security."
Additionally, just 35 percent of surveyed pre-retirees had a plan for financing their retirement. Among retirees, 57 percent said they'd planned for how much they will spend each year and where those funds would come from – up from 44 percent in 2005.
Entrepreneur magazine reports that experts in the financial services industry often advise those looking to maintain their current lifestyle that they will need at least 70 percent of their pre-retirement income. Despite this, figures from the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey show that nearly half (49 percent) of retirees spend less in retirement than they did before, while 37 percent keep their spending levels more or less consistent. Just 13 percent reported increasing their spending after they retired.
That said, fewer than half (45 percent) of small business owners surveyed by the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute last year said they felt well-prepared for retirement and nearly two-thirds feared they would outlive their savings.