October 1, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Retirement security remains a major concern for a large percentage of Americans, particularly in terms of being able to maintain a “reasonable” standard of living for the rest of their lives.
Forty percent of those polled for a MetLife Mature Market Institute study feel they are behind on their plans to save for retirement. Overall, the families surveyed have concerns about their ability to pay living (53%) and medical (49%) expenses. Significantly more non-couples have concerns about paying living expenses.
Respondents cite external factors for their concern—tax increases (39%), changing interest rates (30%), stock market fluctuations (29%), and reductions in pensions and annuities (20%). More than half (54%) of respondents fear that changes in Social Security and Medicare will reduce their retirement resources; many will rely heavily on Social Security as a source of income.
Longevity poses risks, as many of those polled say they might not have enough money to pay for health care (45%) and a long-term stay in a nursing home (44%) as they age.
The study found the presence of children is both a financial burden (52% of those with adult children have provided them some financial assistance, primarily due to a job loss) and a potential source of support (one-quarter of respondents expect children to help retired parents in need). Nearly half of respondents have calculated how much monthly income—in addition to Social Security—they will need in retirement. On average, they estimate they will need an additional $3,136.