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Allianz survey: Two-thirds of older boomers cite rising healthcare costs as top concern

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Two-thirds of baby boomers who are within 10 years of retirement say that rising healthcare costs will have the greatest effect on their retirement outlook, according to a new report.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, published this finding in a summary of results from its 2012 Retirement & Politics Survey. The survey polled more than 1,200 baby boomers ages 55 to 65.

Two-thirds (67%) of these “transition boomers” list healthcare expenses as their top concern, with Republicans at 64%, Democrats at 69%, and independents at 66%. Social Security ranks second at 53% for all transition boomers, followed by tax payment changes (31%), rising national debt (26%), unemployment (19%) and education (4%).

The survey also finds that, among these six economic issues, Democrat transition boomers are more focused on Social Security (65% of Democrats versus 42% for Republicans, 50% for independents and 54% for those with no preference) and Republicans on rising national debt (38% of Republicans versus 15% for Democrats, 29% for independents and 19% for those with no preference) than their counterparts.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) of Republican transition boomers identify themselves as conservative or moderately conservative compared to 36% of Democrats. However, the survey notes, Democrat transition boomers are more likely to be balanced in their retirement savings approach, with 29% identifying themselves as balanced versus 18% for Republican boomers.

Regarding the effect the election will have on their approach to retirement savings, 29% of Republican transition boomers are likely to become more aggressive if Romney wins while 30% of Democrats would become more conservative. If President Obama is re-elected, 81% of Democrat transition Boomers anticipate no changes to their retirement approach while 42% of Republicans say they would become more conservative, the report states.

Transition boomers who do not identify with either major political party also report being more conservative or balanced in their retirement savings philosophy. Thirty-nine percent of independents and 29% of those with no preference identified themselves as conservative or moderately conservative, while 30% of independents and 34% with no preference identify themselves as balanced in their retirement savings approach.

The majority of this group of transition boomers also says the outcome of the election would not trigger a change in their retirement savings strategy.

Specifically, if President Obama is re-elected, 64% of independents and 75% of no-preference transition boomers say they would keep the same retirement savings strategy. If Romney wins, 61% of independents and 73% of no-preference transition boomers said they would keep the same retirement savings strategy.


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