To state the obvious, we are living through difficult times. Not only does COVID-19 remain a major threat to our health, but now it feels like our pocketbooks increasingly are under attack.
Recently, F&G — a provider of retail annuity and life insurance products — surveyed nearly 1,300 Americans age 50 and older and asked them to identify what keeps them up at night when they think about retirement. Those surveyed all own financial products valued at $10,000 or more.
Respondents named three issues related to their financial health that have them on edge. Following are the trio of things making older Americans nervous.
Respondents age 50 and older who cite this worry: 80%
Recent surveys consistently have shown that inflation is the biggest worry on the minds of all Americans, even displacing fears about COVID-19.
Inflation is big trouble regardless of your age. But it may be even scarier for those in retirement, who see their purchasing power ebb month by month while also knowing they don’t have a steady paycheck coming in to help.
If rising prices have you on edge, read about the “5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Inflation Risk.”
Respondents age 50 and older who cite this worry: 71%
With inflation raging like a wildfire, the Federal Reserve has been trying to throw a little cold water on the economy by raising the federal funds rate.
The goal is to cool the economy without freezing it. But policymakers have a history of getting this sort of thing wrong. Some experts fear the Fed might go too far, sending the economy into recession. Survey respondents appear to share that anxiety.
If you too are worried about a recession, prepare yourself with the tips in “9 Ways to Brace Your Finances for a Recession.”
Rising health care costs
Respondents age 50 and older who cite this worry: 66%
Long before inflation and a recession were major worries, older Americans fretted about rising health care costs. They still do, with two-thirds citing this concern.
Some may expect Medicare coverage to ride to the rescue and tame their health care costs. But that’s probably asking too much. For all its virtues, the nation’s retirement health program is far from comprehensive, as we note in “Medicare Will Not Cover These 9 Medical Costs.”
What older Americans are doing about it
Older Americans have had to endure plenty of rough patches during their lives. They know that the right response to hard times is not to complain but to take action.
The survey respondents said they are planning to take several actions to stay afloat during the current turmoil.
For example, 62% plan to change how they budget due to inflation. And among pre-retirees, 55% now plan to work part-time in retirement to cover day-to-day expenses.
You’ll learn about more proactive steps you can take in “Here’s How to Budget in Retirement So You Don’t Run Out of Money.”