The survey, by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, was conducted in April via Internet by the Blackstone Group and asked 300 retirees age 55 to 75 what they have learned during retirement and what advice they would give to younger generations.
Nearly all respondents (93%) said saving early is their top piece of advice for retirement planning. That was followed by contributing to retirement plans available at work (84%), doing more planning (61%), investing conservatively (39%) and getting professional advice (37%). One-third (30%) suggested living frugally and one in five middle-income retirees (22%) recommend working as long as one can.
“Making your money last” was at the top of the list of retirement topics they wish they knew more about. One in four (25%) are looking for investment information and for guidance on how to maximize returns on retirement savings.
Respondents said the biggest financial surprise in retirement was not having enough income. Other surprises included adjusting to a lower income, the high cost of health care, increasing prices and no income increase in the future.