Retirement Health Care Costs Cited as Top Concern

A new study by John Hancock found that employees’ biggest retirement-related concern is the financial risk of rising health care costs.

Conducted as a part of the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index for Signator Investors, Inc., the study found that other retirement-related concerns included changes to Social Security and/or Medicare, and running out of money during retirement. The study also found that the percentage of employees citing these concerns has increased from earlier studies.

According to the study, more than half (55%) of respondents said they were very concerned about rising health care costs in retirement, a seven-point jump from last year’s study. Overall, 89% of this year’s respondents expressed some concern about rising health care costs.

Changes to Social Security and/or Medicare was second on the list of retirement-related concerns, with slightly more than one-third (34%) citing they were very concerned, up slightly from last year (32%). Overall, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents cited concern about this risk.

Running out of money in retirement was third on the list of top retirement-related concerns, increasing from 26% in 2012 to 28% in 2013. Overall, 65% of respondents this year felt this issue was of concern.

The study surveyed 1,013 investors online, 703 of whom were not retired. Respondents were queried by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates. To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decisionmaking process, have a household income of at least $75,000 and assets of $100,000.

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a Canada-based financial services group, which also has operations in Asia and the United States. The John Hancock Financial Network is a national network of independent firms of financial professionals across the United States. Signator Investors Inc. acts as broker-dealers/registered investment advisers for the John Hancock Financial Network.