Running Out of Money Top Retirement Concern Among Americans

Thirty-one percent of Americans say running out of money is their top concern regarding retirement, according to a survey from Franklin Templeton.

The second and third most pressing retirement concerns are healthcare expenses (27%) and changes to Social Security that could lead to a reduction or delay in benefits (15%). The 2011 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey also found that 47% of respondents are willing to keep working if they were unable to retire as planned.  

Top concerns in retirement varied by age range. Among those 65 or older, medical expenses (29%) and Social Security (22%) topped the list of concerns, followed by running out of money (19%). More than three-quarters (78%) of 35-34-year-olds are concerned about managing their retirement income to meet retirement expenses. This percentage decreased, yet was still a majority for younger age groups: 25-to 34-year-olds at 68%, and 18- to 24-year-olds at 59%.

Survey data also showed that while 41% of 35- to 44-year-old respondents are invested in a workplace retirement plan, one-third (34%) of respondents in that age group said they haven’t thought about their approach to employing different sources of retirement income, and less than a quarter (23%) currently work with a financial adviser.

A quarter (25%) of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 plan to rely on Social Security as a primary means of income during retirement, and 26% believe a workplace retirement fund, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), will provide the most income during their retirement. 


Other key findings from the survey included:

•  Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 are almost as concerned with funding vacations and hobbies (12%) as they are with paying off their mortgage (15%) during retirement, though 60% said paying off their mortgage is a goal by the time they reach retirement.

•  Seventy-six percent of those 65 or older said they are now more concerned by investment volatility than they were prior to the 2008 recession, versus 62% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

•  Sixty-five percent of Americans ages 65 or older said they will have to work between one and 10 more years before being able to retire.

•  Forty-six percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said they believed it would take between 40 and 50 years before they could retire —taking them into their late 60s and early 70s.

The Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey was conducted online among a sample of 2,046 adults, 18 years of age or older. The survey was administered between September 15-21, 2011.