Octogenarians Give Retirement Advice

They say savings should determine when to retire.

Sixty-eight percent of retirees in their 80s say that figuring out if you have enough saved, rather than health (53%) or age (42%), should determine when to retire. This is according to a survey of 514 retirees commissioned by New York Life and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in early October.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) say the earliest years of their retirement were some of their best years, 49% say the first five years were the happiest, and 24% say the first year was their favorite.

Fifty-four percent say they have lived longer than they expected. Thus, it is not a surprise that 88% would advise younger generations to re-create pension-like income for their retirement, and 52% say their auto-pilot income sources have given them peace of mind.

Octogenarians’ retirement income comes from multiple sources, starting with Social Security (for 90%), followed by savings accounts (57%), traditional pensions (55%), permanent life insurance (46%), managed investment accounts (34%), income annuities (29%), mortgages (23%) and a 401(k) or 403(b) account (22%).

Income sources that octogenarians wish they had but don’t include traditional pensions (45%), income annuities (36%), 401(k) or 403(b) plans (35%), managed investment accounts (35%), investment annuities (34%), savings accounts (33%) and permanent life insurance (30%).

“We have all heard the saying, ‘listen to your elders,’” says Ross Goldstein, managing director of retail annuities marketing division at New York Life. “In this case, we hope younger generations listen closely to what octogenarians report about how they planned for retirement and how this planning worked for them once they got there. We hope Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials will take action to find pension-life income that will allow them to retire and enjoy their younger retirement years.”