Americans Plan to Keep Homes in Retirement

The majority of American retirees (73%) say they will hang on to their homes rather than sell or downsize, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index.

The Index also found 21% of working Americans who are five years from retirement also plan to keep their homes during retirement – at least at first, Principal said in a press release.

Most retirees included in the survey have their homes completely paid off (60%). While the trend of reverse mortgages to fund retirement may be catching on somewhat, the majority of retirees (78%) and working American homeowners (76%) surveyed for the Index said they have not considered taking out a reverse mortgage or selling their home to help fund retirement.

Financial Concerns in Retirement

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index revealed that 67% of workers and 52% of retirees are concerned about their long-term financial future. Top financial concerns of workers were being able to enjoy the same quality of life during retirement (39%), the ability to afford good medical care (39%) outliving their savings (32%), and the rising cost of inflation reducing their purchasing power (28%).

As for retirees, the ability to afford good medical care (29%) was their chief concern, followed by outliving savings (24%, and the ability to pay for basic necessities (21%).

Despite their concerns, nearly half of workers (45%) and 61% of retirees have not received any financial planning assistance, the Principal news release said. Also, the Index found while 42% of workers think they should save 11% or more of their pre-tax salary for retirement while only a minority (11%) actually do.

Harris Interactive conducted The Principal Financial Well-Being Index survey online among 1,214 American workers and 554 retirees from August 1 – 7, 2007.