Wealthy Americans Delaying Retirement

Retirees report higher levels of confidence in several areas

Affluent Americans expect to delay retirement to age 68, according to the Investor Retirement Income Trends report published by Market Strategies International.

Retirees, however, stopped working at 60 on average, according to the report.

MSI surveyed nearly 900 investors for the Cogent Reports survey. Respondents were 55 or older with at least $100,000 in investable assets.

Just 28% of pre-retirees, respondents older than 55 who had not yet retired, said they were very confident about their ability to generate enough income in retirement to meet their needs.

“We see over one-third of all affluent Americans expressing serious concerns about either outliving their money or not being able to handle unexpected costs,” Julia Johnston-Ketterer, senior director for MSI and author of the report, said in a statement. “These legitimate fears, coupled with increasing longevity, are pushing even affluent Americans to remain in the work force longer.”

Retirees were far more likely than pre-retirees to say they were confident about generating enough income to meet their needs (48%), but that wasn’t the only difference the survey found between the two groups.

Retirees were also more likely to say they were confident they could cover any unexpected costs that came up (46%). Just 27% of pre-retirees agreed. When asked more generally how confident they were that they would not outlive their assets, only 23% of pre-retirees said they were, compared with 40% of retirees.

Pre-retirees were more likely than retirees to say a 401(k) would be their primary source of retirement income by a huge margin: 25% versus 7%.

“The more Americans become dependent on funding their retirement income through 401(k) savings, the more likely they are to remain in the work force until they feel confident they have adequately funded those accounts,” said Johnston-Ketterer. “But it’s a moving target, and without the guaranteed lifetime income that a pension provides, investors are increasingly concerned about coming up short.”

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