If you’re busy planning for your retirement or just dreaming about it, a new poll reports health costs top the list of concerns for Americans looking toward their Golden Years.
In fact, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) are confident they have saved enough — or will save enough — to retire comfortably, yet this confidence is tempered by worries over health care costs. Additionally, the high cost of care is the top reason many aren’t saving as much as they would like to now, and it tops the list of future worries.
These conclusions are among the major findings of a new nationwide poll released by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and a hybrid digital wealth management company.
“Health costs represent a growing concern among aging Americans—which is why it’s crucial to begin saving for retirement well in advance,” said Mark Solheim, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in a news release. “Saving as much as possible today ensures a comfortable and secure retirement tomorrow. Our poll shows a promising trend: by and large, Americans are prioritizing retirement planning. Most are stashing a respectable chunk of their income in savings, and nearly three-fourths have a long-term financial plan.”
Surprisingly, the poll also finds younger individuals are more actively preparing for retirement than those over 50. For example, they are more likely to contribute the maximum to their workplace retirement plan and are more likely to have a health savings account. They are also more open to alternative ways to fund retirement, such as purchasing an annuity, applying for a reverse mortgage, or relocating in retirement, according to the poll.
“It’s encouraging to see so many Americans prioritizing retirement savings and working with a professional to build long-term financial plans,” said Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital. “Yet, fewer than 50 percent of those polled said they also had a withdrawal plan – a critical and often overlooked part of planning for retirement …”
The poll, conducted in November surveyed investors between the ages of 35 and 64, equally divided between men and women, who had made at least one investment transaction in the past year. Excerpts from the poll will appear in the February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, with more results at kiplinger.com/links/poll.
Among the findings:
- Financial confidence: 39 percent are somewhat confident that they have saved or will save enough to retire comfortably; 26 percent are very confident.
- Primary concerns: Nearly a quarter (22 percent) are worried about high health care costs in retirement, while 18 percent are worried about not having enough money to live comfortably, followed by running out of money altogether (16 percent).
- Work expectations: 85 percent of those under 50 — and 67 percent of those over 50 —expect to work full time as long as possible before retiring.
- Social Security: More than half (54 percent) of Americans are confident that Social Security will provide the income they expect.
- Average savings: On average, Americans have saved $327,090 for retirement. They are currently saving 13.3 percent of their annual income for retirement.
- Retirement living: 72 percent with a mortgage expect to pay it off by retirement.
- Gender differences: Men think they will need a $985,920 nest egg at retirement, while women say they need $828,360.
- Financial preparation: A majority (61 percent) of those with a long-term financial plan are working with a financial planner.
- Relocating: 34 percent are considering relocating during retirement – the top four reasons being:
- Lower taxes
- Lower cost of living
- Warmer climate
- To be near family
In the end, your Golden Years should be about enjoying time on a golf course, setting sail on whirlwind cruise ,or simply enjoying time at home — and not worrying about health care costs. Consider seeking the expert advice of a financial planner or wealth management company to help you make sure you are prepared for when those days come.