Data and Research

Short-Term Financial Considerations Prioritized Over Retirement Savings

Despite Americans’ concerns about being able to afford retirement, more than half of those surveyed (51%) do not include retirement in their long-term financial goals.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | May 18, 2017

Americans report they are worried about affording retirement, but over half say they aren’t saving money to retire.

The latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index revealed that two in three Americans (67%) report the country’s current events are making them concerned about their financial future. Given this backdrop, it may not come as a surprise the survey also found nearly one-third (32%) worry they either will not be able to retire or will need to delay retirement in the future.                 

Despite their concerns, more than half of those surveyed (51%) do not include retirement in their long-term financial goals.

The lack of retirement savings could in part be due to prioritizing short-term financial considerations. Americans report they are more concerned about affording unexpected expenses (44%), health care costs (41%) and taking desired vacations (36%) than they are about having adequate retirement savings (32%).

“Many Americans are outliving their assets because they did not include retirement in their long-term financial goals,” says Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at COUNTRY Financial. “We strongly encourage people to develop a long-term plan so they can eliminate the fear of never being able to retire.  By taking some simple steps almost everyone can have a plan in place to secure their financial future.”

With advancements in health care, it is not uncommon for people to spend more years in retirement than previous generations. For planning purposes, COUNTRY Financial suggests a good rule of thumb is to assume living to about age 90 unless health or family history indicate otherwise. Moreover, the desired standard of living during retirement will influence how much money a person will need. The company advises that people plan to have at least 75% of their pre-retirement income to pay for living expenses during retirement.

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