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Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

Retirees can't find the map

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Ninety-five percent of retirees who have worked with an advisor in the first two years of retirement found that professional help valuable. That’s the good news. The bad news, according to a survey from Thrivent Financial, is that only 22 percent of seniors admitted using an advisor in that time.

The Thrivent study set out to measure the attitudes and readiness of Americans who are approaching or already in retirement. It found, much like a MassMutual study, that attitudes and actions don’t always align and too many adults are without a map for the future. As an example, Thrivent found that 55 percent of seniors are not sure about how much money they need to take them through retirement. In addition, 56 percent are already off target from their monthly spending projections, with 27 percent spending less and 29 percent spending more.

Despite the apparent lack of direction, many seniors aren’t too worried. Six out of 10 don’t worry about having enough money, or even think about it, actually. Sixty-two percent are not anxious about the performance of their investments. But their actions belie that seeming sense of comfort. Note: Two-thirds are taking steps to reduce their retirement spending. To do that:

  • Traveling less: 37 percent.
  • Cutting back on the size or amount of gifts to family: 37 percent.
  • Clipping coupons or hitting the sales more often: 35 percent.
  • Eating at home more often: 32 percent.

Other ways they are cutting back is by entertaining less, growing more food in the garden, using less electricity and donating less to charity.

“Retirement should be a time to take advantage of everything life has to offer,” says Mark Anema, vice president of accumulation and retirement income solutions for Thrivent. “While it’s good to see they aren’t overly stressed by financial matters, some may have a false sense of confidence in the longevity of their savings, while others may be pinching pennies when they could be spending more time or money on the activities they enjoy.”

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