Study: Retirees "Hoard" Savings

February 26, 2004 ( - Most retirees are trying to stay afloat financially by relying on Social Security and pension payments without dipping into their retirement savings, a new study found.

Six in 10 respondents to a Prudential Financial survey said they are hoarding their retirement savings to make sure they don’t run out of assets too early.

“Today’s financially savvy retirees get their peace of mind from knowing they have control over their savings,” said David Odenath, president of Prudential Annuities. “Retirees owe it to themselves to explore the investment options available to them and to manage their savings to most effectively accomplish their goals.”

Instead, retirees’ primary focus is to preserve or even continue to grow their assets. A paltry 18% said their focus is to “generate income from savings.” This holds true even for retirees who have accumulated significant savings.

About four in 10 declared that they still hope to keep most of their savings as they live in retirement. The second biggest group, a third, plans to spend down “only some of their savings.” Of the 24% who plan to spend down most of their savings eventually, more (14%) intend to use their savings to cover expenses later in life than for regular monthly living expenses (10%).

Among those who plan to keep most of their savings, 43% don’t want to outlive their money and become a burden to someone else.

Among those who currently use a portion of their savings to generate income, 65% agree that annuities’ feature of providing a death benefit at least equal to the amount invested is “attractive,” and 70% were attracted to annuities’ guaranteed income payments for a fixed period or for life.

For more information on Living In Retirement, and to learn the Top Ten Mistakes To Avoid In Retirement, visit .

Prudential’s Study of Recent Retirees is based on a nationwide telephone survey of 400 Americans who retired within the last eight years and have a minimum of $100,000 in retirement savings.

Future retirees may have a tougher time relying as heavily on Social Security benefits. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan this week called for Congress to cut future payments as a way to help trim the ballooning federal deficit (See  Greenspan: Cut Future Soc. Sec. Benefits ).