Top retirement concern: health costs


WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE) — Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans are confident they have saved enough — or will save enough — to retire comfortably, yet this confidence is tempered by worries over health care costs. In fact, 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 leading hybrid digital wealth management company Personal Capital.

“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. “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 that younger Americans are more actively preparing for retirement than those over 50.

“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 2018, 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.

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.