Reality Is Likely to Dash Your Retirement Expectations

Photo (cc) by [email protected]

Older workers could encounter some unexpectedly harsh realities in retirement.

A survey released by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) this week shows that the retirement expectations of workers ages 50 and older don’t always align with the realities of retirees. Harris Poll conducted the survey.

TCRS President Catherine Collinson, who authored the survey report, says in a news release:

“This new vision of retirement among workers is a tremendous departure from the experiences of those already in retirement.”

For example, many workers plan to work past the traditional retirement age of 65, but retirees who are fully retired left the workplace at the median age of 62. A large percentage of retirees (60 percent), including the fully and semiretired, retired sooner than they had planned.

Additionally, 54 percent of workers ages 50 and older plan to continue working at least part-time in retirement. But in reality, just 5 percent of retirees are currently employed in some fashion.

One thing older workers and retirees have in common is the lack of a written retirement plan that incorporates financial factors, such as:

  • Government retirement benefits (including Social Security and Medicare)
  • Ongoing living expenses
  • Health care costs
  • Savings and income needs
  • A budget

Only 10 percent of older workers and 14 percent of retirees have such a plan, TCRS found.

Collinson says:

“One of the most important things within reach that retirees and pre-retirees can do is formulate a financial plan to identify opportunities, vulnerabilities, and ways to address them.”

Retirees cite their financial priorities as:

  • Just getting by/covering basic living expenses (cited by 42 percent)
  • Paying for health care expenses (37 percent)
  • Continuing to save for retirement (20 percent)

In addition, 25 percent are paying off credit card debt, and 21 percent are paying off mortgages.

The good news is that most retirees are happy and healthy nonetheless, with 94 percent being generally happy and 84 percent having a strong sense of purpose in life. Seventy percent report being in good or excellent health.

Other findings from the survey include that among retirees:

  • Only 16 percent strongly agree that they built a large enough retirement nest egg.
  • 61 percent expect Social Security to be their primary source of income throughout retirement.
  • 76 percent wish they would have saved more on a consistent basis.

What’s your biggest concern about retiring? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances
8 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances

These items put an end to the daily irritations that bug you the most.

10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind
10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind

Here’s how to change those bad behaviors.

The 5 Worst Home Upgrades for the Money
The 5 Worst Home Upgrades for the Money

These home improvement projects basically never pay off.

7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze
7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze

These small appliances and cooking aids make healthy eating easy — and they’re all available on Amazon.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free streaming video services offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.