According to LIMRA research, more than half of retirees, ages 55 to 79, fear changes to Medicare, Social Security and taxes will affect their ability to afford retirement.

“With so many lawmakers talking about cutting costs to reduce the growing deficit and the financial implications resulting from it, retirees who might have felt secure that their retirement savings would last their lifetime, now recognize the uncertainty of the times and how vulnerable they are,” says Marie Rice, corporate vice president, LIMRA Retirement Research.

The study, which looked at retirees’ income sources and spending habits, also found:

- More than 85% of the retirees examined in the study rely on Social Security

- Three-quarters get at least some of their income from a traditional pension plan

- Investments and taxable savings are income sources for 44% of retirees

- 8 of 10 have a deferred annuity

- About one-fourth say employee earnings, defined contribution plans and IRAs are funding their retirement income

- More than half of the retirees’ income is going to basic living expenses

Less than half of the retirees examined in the survey worked with professional advisors to make investment decisions, and only 22% had a formal written plan.

“Our industry has tools and guidance available to those who seek it,” Rice says. “Especially during Financial Literacy Month, it is important we, as an industry, redouble our efforts to engage and educate Americans about the importance of adequate savings behaviors and sound retirement planning and the repercussions to those who fail to do so.”

For more on retirement planning, see:

A perfect pair: Disability insurance and retirement planning

10 ways to prepare for retirement

The role of annuities in retirement income planning: A look at the academic research