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Retirement Income Is Key: Survey

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A recent survey shows that pre-retirees are focusing on having an income that can maintain their standard of living in retirement.

The survey polled about 1,000 people, ages of 50-70, who work in higher education and participate in a retirement plan. It was conducted in April and May by TIAA-CREF Institute, New York, in conjunction with PublicMind, the polling institute of Farleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J.

Among those polled, 87% said they believe advice about strategies for drawing income to live on in retirement is important to them, and 86% say the same about advice on how to pay for health care in retirement.

Also, 60%, said they have sought out objective retirement planning advice within the past 2 years. Of those, 85% describe that advice as independent and objective, and 69% say they typically implement the recommendations received, the researchers say.

The top reasons cited for seeking advice include: how to invest savings (89%); how much to save (60%); and how to draw income to live on from savings upon retirement (50%).

Meanwhile, two-thirds say they are concerned about outliving their savings and about choosing the best way to draw income to live on from their savings, says TIAA-CREF.

Among those who plan to annuitize some or all of their retirement savings, 40% cite the security of a guaranteed lifetime stream of income as their reason. This was “by far the greatest motivation,” according to the researchers.

Other findings:

–24% said they have changed the amount they are saving for retirement due to developments in the financial markets; of these, 61% increased their savings.

–Only 41% of near-retirees surveyed had changed their asset allocation in the last year, and 83% of these decreased their equity exposure.

–71% were concerned about being unable to afford good health care, but only 23% felt very well prepared to meet such expenses.

–63% said they would be very or somewhat likely to contribute to a tax-preferred savings account specifically designed to pay for health-related expenses in retirement.