Pre-Retirees Could Use More Retirement Planning Help

Although people approaching retirement have a strong vision for what success looks like, many are unsure of how to get there, and many are still afraid of running out of money, a TIAA survey finds.

By Rebecca Moore | May 23, 2017
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Americans nearing retirement want to achieve the financial freedom that will enable them to live life to the fullest, spend time with loved ones, and have experiences that deliver true meaning and purpose, according to the latest TIAA Transition to Retirement Survey.

The survey found 95% of respondents say freedom from financial concern is important to their definition of success in retirement. Among individuals who are 55 to 68 years old and planning to retire in the next five years, 96% say the flexibility to do what they want, when they want is an important consideration to their definition of a successful retirement. Spending time with family and friends (93%), relaxing (92%) and having the time to travel (80%) also are important to near-retirees.

Retirement can be a moving target, and the survey reveals that many respondents have had to change their plans. More than one-third (37%) plan to retire at the same age as they planned 10 years ago, but an equal number (37%) say they now plan to retire later, and almost one-quarter (24%) plan to retire earlier than originally planned.

Although people approaching retirement have a strong vision for what success looks like, many are unsure of how to get there. Forty-three percent say they’ve met with a financial adviser or calculated how much money they will need annually in retirement—steps that may help boost retirement confidence. Fifty-four percent of those who have met with an adviser feel extremely or very prepared for retirement, compared to just one-third (34%) of those who have not.

In addition to professional support, nearly two-thirds of near-retirees turn to their significant others when discussing financial and personal plans in retirement. Men are much more likely to say they’ve discussed plans with their significant other than women (75% compared to 57%). Preparing for retirement together seems to help boost confidence: 66% of single pre-retirees feel unprepared, compared with 51% of their married counterparts. Only one-third of all respondents report discussing their plans for life and finances in retirement with their adult children.

NEXT: How pre-retirees are preparing