A poll of residents in the Puget Sound, Wash., area finds more than 60% say they have delayed or plan to delay their retirement.
The Retirement Planning and Savings Survey, conducted for Symetra Financial, Gallagher Benefit Services Inc., and Senior Services by Hebert Research, Inc., assesses the attitudes and behaviors of Puget Sound-area residents about retirement planning and savings.
The survey found 63% of pre-retirees in the region would not retire or were not sure if they could retire at their ideal age (most often cited as age 65). Of respondents who are already retired, 62.3% said they did not retire at their ideal age.
While some respondents delayed or will delay retirement simply because they enjoy working, the most common response cited for not retiring at one’s ideal age was that it was “financially not possible.”
Healthcare was cited most frequently by respondents as the largest or presumed largest expense in retirement. Medicare along with one’s own supplemental plan was cited most often as the likeliest source of healthcare payments during retirement.
Over 66% of retirees expected most of future healthcare expenses to be covered through Medicare. Pre-retirees also were optimistic that their employers would absorb a majority of healthcare costs after age 65.
Twice as many local baby boomers (age 45 to 64) expected to rely on defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts than did those already retired, according to the survey.
However, the findings indicate these plans have not replaced pensions altogether. For 34% of Puget Sound pre-retirees, pensions still are expected to be a primary source of retirement income. This is significantly higher than the national average, in which 24% of Americans plan to rely on a work-sponsored pension when they retire.
Despite the financial concerns of many respondents, the survey found that 42% of pre-retirees have not calculated how much income they will need to last throughout retirement.
While some retirement deterrents such as job loss, medical concerns or unexpected increases in expenses may be unavoidable, the survey says there are simple steps that currently working baby boomers can take to hit their ideal retirement date:
–Calculate the income you’ll need in retirement.
–Manage and reduce your expenses now-before you retire.
–Diversify your investments and sources of retirement income.
–Include your family in the planning process.
–Continually evaluate your needs.
–Consider creating a guaranteed income stream.
–Consult with an independent financial advisor.
–Become an informed consumer of healthcare.