The survey of retirees and pre-retirees found 17% of retirees say they “did not plan ahead” for retirement, 29% of the retiree respondents have created a formal plan to help them achieve a comfortable retirement, and 21% of pre-retirees reported they have such plans.
Only 35% of retirees and 27% of pre-retirees enjoy planning and thinking about finances, according to the survey.
Although only 29% of retirees said they have formal retirement plans, a large majority of retirees reported they were still satisfied or very satisfied with key areas of their lives: relationships with friends (83%), where they live (76%), and relationships with their children (74%). Pre-retirees were generally less satisfied on all metrics than retirees.
Only 37% of retirees and 25% of pre-retirees said they currently work with a financial adviser, with 82% of those saying they were satisfied with their experience.
The survey also found 48% of retirees are confident they will have enough money to cover medical expenses during retirement (compared with 24% of pre-retirees); 47% of retirees are confident they will be able to afford to do the things they really want to in retirement (vs. 26% of pre-retirees); and slightly more than half of retirees (52%) are confident they can maintain their current standard of living in retirement (vs. 25% of pre-retirees).
The survey also indicates that people who plan for retirement feel healthier, more optimistic and more financially secure, with people who have plans for retirement being about twice as likely to feel financially secure than those without.
The survey also looked at how character traits affected retirement planning, finding that 61% of those who describe themselves as organized are confident they did a good job preparing for retirement. Only 39% of those who did not describe themselves as organized were confident regarding their preparation for retirement.
The nationwide survey of 1,043 retirees and 1,004 pre-retirees was conducted via the Internet during February 2007