Outliving Savings Feared More Than Death

Nearly two-thirds of Baby Boomers fear outliving their money in retirement more than death, according to a new survey.

The study, “Reclaiming the Future: Challenging Retirement Income Perceptions,” by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life). titled, indicated that 61% of those Boomers were more anxious about outliving their savings, but nearly one third (31%) of those respondents say they are not too clear about what their expenses will be in retirement.  Not surprisingly, 36% have no idea if their income will last.

A majority of respondents feel their retirement lifestyle must surpass their parents (79%), which Allianz said indicated a need to focus on income in retirement versus accumulation of assets. When asked how much yearly income is needed in retirement, respondents indicated a median income of $59,000 per year, but Allianz noted that Boomers were off by a factor of nearly three times too small when estimating how much they’d need to save to create that household income.

In fact, asked which they were more likely to guess correctly, exactly how much money they’ll have (or need) at the point of retirement or how many gumballs are in the jar at the local county fair, just over half 53% felt confident in their ability to gauge their retirement income needs – only six percent higher than those more certain of their gumball guessing skills.

The study, titled Reclaiming the Future: Challenging Retirement Income Perceptions, was conducted in May 2010 with more than 3,200 Baby Boomers ranging in age from 44 to 75.

Larson Research and Strategy Consulting, Inc. and DSS Research fielded a nationwide online survey for Allianz Life among 3,257 U.S. adults, age 44 to 75. The margin of error for the total sample was approximately +/- 1.7%. The online survey was conducted in the United States between May 6th, 2010 and May 12th, 2010.  In addition to a representative sample of 1,642 US households, subsamples of more affluent households and households who own annuities were also targeted. Results were weighted by age, gender, education, race/ethnicity and income to account for disproportionate sampling of certain populations.