Half of Retirees Say Expenses Met Expectations

Nearly half of retired adults said their expenses in retirement were what they expected, compared to about 30% who said they were more than they expected.

Nearly half (47%) of retired adults surveyed for a recent Wall Street Journal Online, Harris Interactive poll said their living expenses in retirement matched their expectations, while 31% said expenses were much or slightly higher than expected, according to a news release. More than 20% of retirees said expenses were lower than expected.

The survey of 2,321 adult respondents found that most respondents (55%) said they agreed with their spouse over how much they can afford in retirement savings, 14% said they have never discussed retirement savings with their spouse or partner, and 8% said their spouse/partner wants to spend more than they do.

Twenty-seven percent of retired respondents said they would need $49,000 or less to live on in retirement, 8% said $25,000 or less, 27% said $25,000 to $49,000, 30% said $50,000 to $74,999 and 17% said $75,000 to $99,999.

Nearly 20% of retired respondents plan to live on their own savings in retirement, while 35% of non-retired respondents say the same. Far more of already-retired individuals plan to mostly depend on Social Security during retirement (39%), compared to only 20% of non-retired individuals.

About one quarter (26%) of retired individuals said they would mostly depend on employer-sponsored pensions, while 11% of not-retired respondents said the same.