A survey of retirees and employees ages 21 or older by T. Rowe Price found that retirees’ No. 1 financial objective is having peace of mind. Following that is maintaining an acceptable quality of life, managing day-to-day expenses, reducing debt and having a plan to convert assets into a stream of income.
The report, “Retirement Savings and Spending: Behaviors and Attitudes Toward Retirement,” also found retirees report being financially sound, with 77% saying they have enough money to pay for health care, 69% saying they live as well or better than when they were working, 59% saying they will be able to leave money to family members or charities, and 27% saying they will be able to help younger family members with tuition or housing expenses.
Only 20% said they will have to reduce their standard of living, a mere 16% said they will work at least part-time in retirement, and 9% said they will run out of money.
Asked about their concerns, 69% say it is their health, 68% say health care costs, 65% say it is whether their assets will last, 57% worry about who will provide them with care if needed, 51% are concerned about spending their time meaningfully and 46%, each, are concerned about whether their spouse/partner wants the same things out of retirement as well as how much time they can spend with their family.
Asked about their spending concerns, 28% say it is long-term care services, such as a nursing home, 23% say it is health insurance premiums, 20% say it is out-of-pocket health expenses, and 15% say it is housing expenses.
Asked about their financial habits, 81% of retirees say they always or often pay their credit card balances in full when due, 79% say they are always or often are able to stick to a monthly budget, and 46% say that after taking care of their expenses, they make some after-tax savings.
Workers were also asked about their financial habits, and they appear to be in slightly worse shape than retirees. Fifty-seven percent of workers say they always or often pay their credit card balances in full when due, 63% say they always or often are able to stick to a monthly budget, and 39% say that after taking care of their expenses, they make some after-tax savings.
The survey also asked retirees what sources they would turn to if they were to face an emergency that required more cash than they had on hand. Forty percent said they would turn to their savings, 30% said they would use an emergency fund they had built up, 28% said they would get cash from their credit cards, and 26% said they would turn to their workplace retirement accounts.
Workers, asked the same question, said they would turn to the following sources: credit cards (47%), family members or friends (32%), an emergency fund account (31%), personal savings (24%) and an emergency fund (21%).
T. Rowe Price’s findings are based on an online survey of 3,005 workers and 1,005 retirees conducted last July and August. The full report can be downloaded here.