We’ve heard it all before, retirees and pre-retirees are financially ill equipped to make their savings — if any — last throughout their golden years. With more and more businesses cutting pensions, and health care costs and longevity continuing to rise with no foreseeable end, truly having enough savings for retirement can seem out of reach for many.
As LIMRA’s Secure Retirement Institute recently noted in their “Informing the debate: Facts about retirement security” report, the biggest risk to Americans’ retirement security is their lack of savings. Half of baby boomers have less than $100,000 saved for retirement and more than a third have less than $25,000. These numbers are a terrifying wake-up call.
The following are a few more surprising retirement security facts revealed in the aforementioned LIMRA report:
1. 49 percent of retirees retired earlier than they had planned. Health reasons were the most common cause.
It’s true, many people do not retire when they thought they would. As the chart above illustrates, sometimes it’s later, many times it’s earlier. This is where guaranteed income comes into play. According to LIMRA, half of U.S. households with assets of at least $100,000 are interested in converting assets into guaranteed lifetime income.
2. Annuity owners are happy with their purchases.
It seems annuity owners are smiling these days. LIMRA found that owning an annuity increases confidence in achieving a secure retirement lifestyle. An optimistic fact: Nine out of 10 affluent households with an annuity are confident in their retirement security. Even better, more than 70 percent of annuity owners are willing to recommend annuities to their friends and family members, and four out of five annuity owners agree that annuities are a good fit for their financial needs.
3. Many want advice, few are willing to pay.
Though people wanting something for nothing is not very surprising, what is surprising is that LIMRA shows eight in 10 consumers believe their advisor helps them in ways they would not be able to achieve on their own and more than half say they prefer flat fees when it comes to retirement planning advice, but only one in five are willing to pay more than $100 for it. Sounds like a Dire Straits song.
4. Half of employers do not believe guaranteed income products are important to their employees.
Wrong. Eight in 10 U.S. workers would like a guaranteed income option for their DC plan, yet most employers do not offer these options (only 21,000 in the United States, representing less than 1 percent of the U.S. work force). As LIMRA notes, employer-matching contribution is the single most significant factor in determining whether employees contribute to a DC plan or not.