A Nationwide study has found that 57 percent of current retirees are living on Social Security and company pensions alone, leaving retirement savings untouched for fear of running out of money. Of those who said they live solely on pensions and Social Security, almost 25 percent said they were afraid to spend down investments slated for retirement. It seems many Americans need financial advisors to tell them it is OK to spend their retirement savings within the confines of a well-developed plan, especially as retirements stretch out to 20 or 30 years. Current retirees are afraid to touch their savings, while the next generation may not have much saved.

“Americans nearing retirement face a complex challenge, as they don’t have the luxury of current retirees, who say they are funding retirement out of Social Security and pensions,” says John Carter, president, Nationwide Financial Distributors Inc. “The burden on this new generation of retirees is to have enough income for essential living expenses, or must-have income, and a want-to-have income to pursue the lifestyle they want in retirement.”

Some of the survey findings look like this:

  • Nearly half — 47 percent — of retirees and pre-retirees are not sure their expected retirement income will be sufficient.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of pre-retirees say they have a 100 percent chance of having enough income to live comfortably in retirement.
  • Not quite 40 percent believe their retirement investment income will be very predictable.
  • Fewer than half are very sure they have the right mix of retirement investments.
  • If respondents were given 10 percent more income every year in retirement, 36 percent would use it for travel and another 36 percent would use it on their children and grandchildren.

For more from the survey and to find out what Nationwide is doing to help advisors with its Income Planning Desk, visit www.nationwide.com.