Retirees are still paying off debt and relying heavily on Social Security, according to a survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and while they’re managing at the moment, their confidence long term is not high.
According to A Precarious Existence: How Today’s Retirees Are Financially Faring in Retirement, only 46% of retirees agree that their nest egg is large enough; just 16% strongly agree while 30% “somewhat” agree with that statement.
It’s not that they don’t enjoy being retired, even though 56% of them ended up retired sooner than they planned (average age 63) and just 11% retired early because they were financially able to do so. But that doesn’t mean they’re blind to the financial realities of their situation.
Although it may have been the job that drove them out of the workplace — 54% pointed to employment-related reasons for early retirement, including job loss, organizational changes, general unhappiness, and/or an incentive or buyout — or health woes/family reasons (47% cited these), they’re making the most of it, with 61% spending more time with family and friends, 44% pursuing hobbies and 39% traveling.
But 66% say that Social Security will be their primary source of income during retirement, and many are getting by on pretty small incomes: Their estimated median household income is just $32,000, with 25% having a household income of less than $25,000. Just 15% have an income of $100,000 or more. Among all households, the real median income in 2017 was $61,000, according to the Census Bureau.