The 2005 Financial Retirement Fears survey by the National Association for Variable Annuities (NAVA) found that the overwhelming majority of Americans (95%) have financial concerns when it comes to retirement. Moreover, more than four in 10 (42%) of said they feared either that they will run out of money prematurely, or that they will have to downgrade their lifestyle in retirement.
Also high on respondents’ list of greatest fears was the high cost of health care services such as outpatient care and frequent medical appointments (28%), the possibly decline of Social Security payments (16%) and the nation that inflation will erode their savings (9%).
Looking at specific age groups, the financial fear weighing heaviest on the minds of those ages 18-34 is the premature depletion of retirement savings. Possibly reeling from the recent bear market and contemplating the possible changes in the Social Security system, 24% of respondents in this age group are afraid that their retirement assets will not last their lifetime. Moreover, an uncertain job market makes for an uncertain future as those with part-time jobs of all ages have a greater fear for running out of money during retirement – almost 40% than the respondents with full-time positions.
Also, middle aged Americans with full-time jobs worry about their retirement lifestyles. Thirty-seven percent of Americans aged 35-54 rank the inability to maintain their current standard of living as one of their top two retirement fears.
Not surprisingly, the greatest level of anxiety over health care costs is found among retired Americans with at least some level of college education. Respondents least worried about health care costs are between the ages of 18-34, have only a high school diploma, and are employed in part-time jobs.
The survey conducted by Kelton Research in January 2005 for NAVA. Some 1,001 respondents were polled via telephone between January 21 and January 23.
For more information about the group’s advocacy of annuities as retirement savings vehicles go to www.RetireOnYourTerms.com .