Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What we think retirement will look like

One survey  in 2014, found there is a disconnect between the expectations of workers and the reality reported by those who have actually retired.

For example, 65% of workers surveyed expect to continue working for pay during retirement. In contrast, 27% of retirees actually do continue working for pay.

Workers who have saved for retirement generally have not done so for their entire careers. Only 35 percent of workers 55 and older indicate they have saved for 30 years or longer, although an additional 34 percent report having saved for 20 to 29 years. Half (52 percent) of those ages 45 to 54 say they have saved for at least 20 years (Figure 16). Retirees typically report having saved for retirement for 20 years (midpoint). 

Expectations about employer-provided health insurance appear to be more on target. Forty-two percent of workers Expect employer-sponsored retirement savings plans to be a major source of retirement income; 19% of retirees report that employer-sponsored retirement savings plans are a major source of retirement income.

And interestingly, only 33% of workers expect Social Security to be a major source of retirement income, while 62% of retirees reported that Social Security actually is a major source of retirement income.

When preparing for retirement, it’s critical to form realistic expectations.

Six in 10 retirees (60 percent) indicate they did some type of financial planning for retirement. Forty-two percent of these retirees say they began to plan 20 years or more before they retired, and another 27 percent report beginning to plan between 10 and 19 years before retirement. However, 11 percent say they started planning five to nine years before retirement, and 14 percent started less than five years before that point 

Workers recognize they need to save more to ensure a comfortable retirement, so why aren't they doing so? Most— 53 percent—say they simply can’t afford it due to the cost of living and the press of day-to-day expenses. Other reasons for not saving, or not saving more, for retirement include: 
 Currently unemployed or underemployed (14 percent). 
 Paying off non-mortgage debt (6 percent). 
 Paying off a mortgage or housing expenses (5 percent). 
 Education expenses (5 percent). 

However, 1 in 10 (10 percent) say they don’t need to save or save more. 

Source: EBRI, 2014

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