What Older Americans Fear More Than Death

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When it comes to retirement, Americans are scared — and not about falling ill or choosing a spot to settle down. American retirees are fearful that they’ll outlive their retirement savings. In fact, older Americans fear running out of money more than they fear death itself.

It’s the top retirement fear of 1 in 4 people, according to new data from the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council. The other top retirement fears are also money-related and include being worried about being able to maintain a certain lifestyle (23 percent) and being able to afford health care expenses (19 percent).

“As Americans are living longer, it’s no surprise that the No. 1 retirement fear is that their savings will run out leaving them broke in their final years,” Jim Poolman, executive director of the IALC said in a statement. “The uncertainty of knowing if your retirement funds are enough to cover your entire life can be crippling.”

Financial worries in retirement are nothing new in the United States. Americans have been fearful of not having enough money to retire comfortably for quite some time now.

More than half — 57 percent — of financial planners said that running short on cash is the biggest retirement fear of their clients, MarketWatch reports. And a Wells Fargo survey in 2014 revealed that 1 in 5 Americans would choose death over running out of retirement money.

Interestingly, despite having a whole host of money-related retirement fears, 1 in 4 Americans have absolutely nothing saved for retirement, says the IALC. For baby boomers, who are retiring in record numbers, 25 percent say they have less than $5,000 saved for their golden years.

“That’s shocking to me,” Poolman told the Washington Post. “It tells me we need to keep having a national conversation about retirement, about saving and about planning. … The average couple that retired last year will need $240,000 to cover future medical expenses in retirement. Showing people those kinds of facts can only educate them about the need to start saving now.”

It’s never too late — or too early — to start saving for retirement. For help from MoneyTalksNews on all things retirement-related, click here.

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