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Thirteen percent of Americans over age 55 who expect to retire plan to delay it now because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released this week by Smart, a global retirement technology platform.

And retirement might happen even later than planned. Thirty-nine percent said they planned to retire between 65 and 69, while 18% said they would wait until they were between 70 and 79.

Half of respondents also expressed concern about their ability to afford health care costs during retirement.

“COVID-19 has impacted our lives today as well as our futures, and this survey confirms that these shifts are changing the nature of retirement fast,” Jodan Ledford, chief executive of Smart USA, said in a statement.

“We know that people are rightfully concerned about their retirement income and are encouraged by the U.S. government’s moves with the SECURE [Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement]  Act to widen access to retirement vehicles for the American public as well as its focus on retirement income generation.”

YouGov conducted the survey on behalf of Smart in November among 2,654 U.S. adults.

What Pre-Retirees Want

Forty-two percent of U.S. survey participants 55 and older think of retirement as an event with several stages, and most planned to wait to at least age 65:

  • 16% will or did first tap retirement savings between 60 and 64
  • 39% will or first did so between 65 and 69
  • 16% will or first did so between 70 and 74

The survey also found that 36% of respondents would like to receive advice on how much they can safely withdraw each month without running out of money.

Thirty-eight percent want to have the ability to change their income  if their financial needs change, and 19% would like to receive a guaranteed income product or annuity.

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Although 38% of U.S. adults 55 and older said they wanted to manage their retirement finances themselves without assistance, 43% wanted help, and 21% said they did not understand their options around finance at retirement.

However, 42% of these older respondents reported that they have never received any advice on finances in retirement. One-third said they would like to receive advice from their retirement plan provider, but only 9% cited their plan provider as one of their most useful sources of advice.

Participants value clear communications and online tools from their retirement plan providers, according to the survey. Forty-three percent prioritized receiving clear, simple communications about their retirement savings. Two in five said online tools are important, both for checking account balances and accessing income.

Related: Why Advisors Should Tell Clients About Income Protection Now

Smart Retire

Smart also announced the launch of Smart Retire that will be available to members of the Smart Pension Master Trust in the U.K., with plans to roll out globally in 2021.

Smart Retire offers plan participants an integrated solution to help them through the complexities many face in the run-up to retirement. Its proprietary online tools generate a plan that can be used with the advice of a professional to provide members with a custom solution.

Related: Younger Investors Want to Increase Advisor Use, Automate Investing: Cerulli

According to the statement, Smart Retire is designed to help participants break down the retirement planning process into several manageable spending and savings objectives, which can help them create a sustainable retirement income stream that can provide them with increased comfort and less uncertainty related to spending in retirement.

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