Plan Sponsors Can Do More to Help Participants Prepare for Retirement

Even those already in retirement worry about health care and running out of money, indicating plan sponsors can introduce participants to health savings and lifetime income options, a survey finds.

By Lee Barney | October 13, 2016

According to a survey of retirees by TIAA, 86% are satisfied with their finances. Fifty-four percent said that they have not had to make and lifestyle adjustments, although 20% have made such minor changes as buying fewer clothes or eating out less.

Seventeen percent are working for pay, and of this group, only 5% are doing so for purely financial reasons.

TIAA also looked at the differences between male and female retirees. Male retirees are more confident about their finances, with 77% saying that they found the transition into retirement easy, compared to 69% of women. Fifty-eight percent of male retirees are very satisfied with their financial health, compared to 46% of female retirees. Twenty-nine percent of retired women, on the other hand, are worried about running out of money, compared to 15% of their male counterparts.

Aging is a concern for both sexes. Fifty-three percent of retirees worry about becoming a burden to others, 46% agonize about a spouse or partner dying, 44% think about what their life will be like if their mental abilities deteriorate, and 43% worry about mobility issues. TIAA notes that this is why retirement plan participants should invest in health savings accounts (HSAs) and those approaching retirement or in retirement should consider long-term care insurance.

The investment firm also says retirement plan sponsors should include lifetime income options in their investment lineups.

GfK Custom Research North America conducted the survey among a total of 1,583 TIAA retirees between May 28 and August 27, 2015. TIAA’s full “Voices of Experience” report can be downloaded here.