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How will boomers pay for their retirement?

One third of pre-retirees are unsure about whether they can make ends meet when they reach retirement, according to a new report by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

The survey reports that 33 percent of “transition boomers”— those ages 55 to 65 who are less than 10 years from retirement—are unsure as to whether they will have money to cover basic living expenses in retirement. The lack of clarity was most pronounced among women (39 percent), those with annual incomes below $50,000 (56 percent), unmarried individuals (39 percent) and those without a college degree (39 percent).

When asked about their biggest concerns in retirement, 28 percent of the boomers say “not being able to cover basic living expenses.”

While health-care costs rank as the biggest concern among respondents at 32 percent, only 10 percent pick “keeping up with inflation”; and only 6 percent identify taxes in retirement as a top concern.

Most 55- to 65-year-olds (94 percent) expect Social Security to be a source of income during retirement, the survey says. Thirty percent anticipate some retirement income from part-time work.

Other sources of retirement cited by the respondents include pension plans (46 percent), defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s (43 percent), other investments (33 percent), annuities (14 percent), inheritance (9 percent), rental property income (7 percent) and other sources (11 percent).

Nearly six in 10 of transitional boomers who plan to use an employer- sponsored plan as a source of retirement income have spoken to someone about what to do with their plan when they retire. Seven in 10 respondents cite financial professionals as a source of advice, the most popular choice among those polled.

The survey finds that more than four in 10 of those aged 55 to 65 will not focus on retirement income strategies until they are less than five years from the start of retirement. Just 15 percent say they will start the planning between five and 10 years prior to retirement, but 42 percent will begin planning more than 10 years prior.

Source: Warren S. Hersch, LifeHealthPro.com