For the second year in a row, health care costs (45%) emerge as a top-cited obstacle to financial security in retirement along with lack of savings (44%)—substantially ahead of lack of planning (30%), events in Washington, D.C. (23%) and volatile markets (22%).
"Interestingly, though people recognize the impact of health care costs and insufficient savings on retirement security, they are not necessarily seeing the role of financial planning as the connection between the two," says Rebekah Barsch, vice president of planning for Northwestern Mutual. "A solid financial strategy can ease both concerns."
The study also finds mounting debt is a serious source of financial pressure for Americans. When asked what one change would make the most significant impact on their financial situation, eliminating all debt (27%) narrowly outpaces earning significantly more income (26%). While mortgages emerged as the leading source of debt (29%), the impact of credit cards come through strongly (23%), exceeding student loan debt, car loans, and home equity loans/lines of credit combined.
The study was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual and included 2,646 American adults ages 18 or older who participated in an online survey between February 1 and February 10, 2016. The study report may be downloaded from here