To kick off National Retirement Planning Week, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) hosted a media call during which Frank O’Connor, vice president, research at IRI, noted that in 2011, when the IRI first conducted its survey of Boomer expectations for retirement, 75% had retirement savings. Today, only 55% of Boomers have retirement savings, and among this group, half have less than $250,000 put away.
O’Connor said the reasons fewer Boomers have retirement savings today is likely because they were forced to use those savings early and/or had low balances. Equally troubling, he said, is the “large number of Boomers who lack any kind of planning for retirement. Most have not set a retirement goal.” As a result, “many Boomers are not confident their retirement savings will last throughout retirement or that they will have money for long-term care.”
IRI’s research also found that 24% of Americans plan to retire before the age of 65. Twenty-nine percent plan to retire between the ages of 65 and 69, and 26% plan to retire at age 70 or older. However, only 7% of retired workers said they left the workforce at age 70 or older.
IRI’s research also underscores the benefits of working with an adviser. Seventy percent of those who work with a financial adviser have calculated a retirement savings goal. However, many of these advisers are failing to include health care and long-term care costs in these equations, as only 50% of those working with a financial adviser have included health care costs in their retirement savings goal, and only 36% have included long-term care in that equation.
By comparison, a mere 25% of Americans who do not work with a financial adviser have calculated a retirement savings goal, and that percentage is the same for those who have included health care costs and long-term care costs in that figure. IRI estimates that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2018 can expect to pay $363,946 in lifetime Medicare and supplemental insurance premiums, as well as out-of-pocket costs—not including the cost of long-term care.
“Helping clients understand the implications of health and long-term care expenses for their savings goals and for their retirement security represents an opportunity for advisers,” IRI says in its report, “Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2019.”
Among those working with a financial adviser on a retirement plan, 77% say the adviser has come up with a retirement income plan. Sixty-nine percent say it includes a retirement savings goal; 65%, a Social Security claiming strategy; 48% a health care plan; 46%, an estate plan; 42%, an annuity; and 41%, a long-term care plan.
Working with an adviser and/or owning an annuity can also boost retirement confidence, IRI found. Forty-seven percent of those working with an adviser and 48% of those who own an annuity think they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Forty-eight percent of those working with an adviser and 54% of those who own an annuity think their money will last until age 90.
Also speaking on the media call was John Kennedy, senior vice president and head of retirement solutions distribution at Lincoln Financial, who said a Consumer Retirement Index that Lincoln just released found only 25% of Americans are very confident about retirement—that they will have enough money to last throughout their retirement, that they will be able to convert their savings to lifetime income and that they will be able to maintain their lifestyle in retirement.
“Income planning is the most important topic for those over the age of 45,” Kennedy said. “Annuities, both fixed and variable, can guarantee income that you cannot outlive.” He added that only slightly more than half of those age 45 and older work with an adviser. “As investors plan for retirement, it is critical that they consider the value a financial adviser can provide,” he said.
And advisers need to include long-term care in their discussions with investors about retirement, said Mike Hamilton, vice president of MoneyGuard product management at Lincoln Financial. “Only 33% of people think they will need long-term care,” Hamilton said. “There are things everyone can do to prepare for long-term care, and we encourage advisers to speak with their clients about their preferences for how they would like to receive and fund long-term care, be it through hybrid life insurance or riders that can be added to an annuity or life insurance policy.”