Many Seniors Think More about Vacations than Retirement

October 18, 2005 ( - Affluent 60-year-olds may insist they are well prepared for retirement, but, survey findings reveal that roughly half (46%) of "successful sixties" spend more time pondering their next vacation.

At the same time, a news release about the 2005 Lincoln Long LifeSurvey said that 55% of successful sixties report creating comprehensive plans to ensure they don’t outlive their money and 52% reported that they have long-term goals for asset levels.

“Participants in theLincoln Long LifeSurveycite outlasting their money as their greatest financial fear,”saidJon Boscia, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group, in the news release.

According to the survey, successful sixties place great importance on their family relationships, visiting family members at least once a week (59%) and citing the respect of family and friends as being extremely or very important to them (83%).

However, the benefits of a close-knit family may create a critical challenge that many successful sixties don’t expect to face during their retirement years.

Among affluent 60-year-olds with at least one living parent or in-law, the overwhelming majority (94%) report being the sole financial supporter or heavy contributor to their elders. Eighty-four percent of successful sixties who are parents serve as the sole financial supporter or heavy contributor of at least one grown child or stepchild. Nearly all (95%) report they provide at least a modest amount of financial support to one child or more. Overall, 62% of affluent 60-year-olds are “on the hook” for significant financial support to either a parent or child.

Women in their successful sixties tend to be more optimistic about life in retirement than their male counterparts. In fact, almost half (42%) of the women surveyed estimated that there is a 75% chance or greater they’ll celebrate their 90 th birthdays as opposed to only one-quarter (26%) of men who believe the same. Affirming their belief that they may face a lengthier retirement, it’s not surprising that 96% of female successful sixties claim securing an income stream for life is of high importance to them versus 88% of surveyed men.

The survey also indicates that women in their successful sixties value the lifestyle aspects of retirement more than their male counterparts such as close personal relationships (89% vs. 77%), a connection to the spiritual (71% vs. 59%), an active social life (57% vs. 47%), and the importance of travel (52% vs. 43%). Additionally, retired affluent women in their 60s are more likely than male respondents to believe the next generation will have a similar experience to their own in retirement (28% vs. 17%).

Heading into the retirement sunset doesn’t have to mean the end of a paycheck or opportunities to take on new challenges, the survey said. One-third of respondents who retired from their primary occupations continue to work, and among those “working retireds,” 33% report being employed in entirely new fields. Furthermore, affluent retirees who are still working in some fashion (33%) are far more likely than those who are now fully out of the workforce (12%) to have started consulting after the age of 55. Interestingly, successful sixties – retired versus pre-retired – cite different reasons for continuing to work; enjoyment of the job (36% vs. 26%), income needs (16% vs. 38%) and intellectual stimulation (13% vs. 6%) top the list.