Americans worry most about running out of money in retirement, according to a survey released Wednesday by the American Institute of CPAs.
The institute’s first quarter personal financial planners sentiment survey, which 548 members completed online in February, found that 57% of planners said it was their clients’ main retirement worry.
The next most prevalent concerns were health care costs and deciding how much to withdraw from assets. Longevity, Social Security decisions, and issues around diminished capacity and dementia rounded out the top six client concerns.
Half of financial planners, many of whose clients are wealthy individuals, said their clients had raised the concern of outliving their money, but respondents also said they had similar concerns for only 37% of their clients.
According to the institute, this suggested that some clients were in fact better prepared for retirement than they thought, and the CPA financial planner’s involvement and knowledge of the client’s goals and plan was an opportunity to help reduce client stress about outliving their money.
Three issues caused the most client stress regarding outliving their money: health care costs, for 76% of clients; market fluctuations, for 62%; and lifestyle expenses, for 52%.
However, 47% of the respondents also placed unexpected costs in the top three client concerns.
Long-term health care was the biggest uncertainty, with an average of 42% of CPA financial planners’ clients currently affected, and 59% of respondents reporting increased client impact over the last five years.
Other unexpected costs that tended to have a larger effect on retirement were taking care of aging relatives, with 29% of respondents’ clients currently affected, and dealing with diminished capacity and dementia, with 26% of clients currently affected.
Job loss and adult children returning home each affected only 18% of the respondents’ clients.