While retirees have stabilized their household finances since the 2008 economic collapse and feel more financially secure, there is an increase of those who have not given retirement planning a thought, according to a new report.
The Financial Recovery for Retirees Continues by the Society of Actuaries, the International Foundation for Retirement Education and LIMRA, finds that retirees’ are feeling as financially secure as they did in the spring of 2008 before the crisis. The majority (56 percent) believe they are “just as secure as they thought they would be when they fist retired.” This is an improvement over two years ago, when nearly half were feeling less secure than when they first retired. The percentage of retirees who are feeling less financially secure has decreased from 49 percent in 2009 to 28 percent in 2011.
Retirees are also approaching 2008 levels of confidence when it comes to having saved enough money to live comfortably during their retirement years. Currently, 85 percent are “very” or “somewhat” confident they have enough retirement savings. In 2008, that number was 88 percent.
The percentage of retirees who are “very” confident they have enough retirement savings is also rebounding to 2008 levels, when 37 percent expressed this attitude. Two years ago, that percentage dropped to 25 percent. Currently, it’s at 31 percent. The proportion who are “somewhat” confident they have saved enough is at 54 percent, unchanged over the past two years.
Not surprisingly, few retirees identify their risk tolerance as aggressive. In 2011, the same proportion of retirees as in 2009 describe themselves as extremely conservative (22 percent) or somewhat conservative (48 percent). Their chief concerns remain the economy (72 percent), future inflation (47 percent), and the downward trend in the value of their house (32 percent, up from 28 percent in 2009).
Bur surprisingly, retirement planning is not a priority for an increasing number of retirees. In 2008, nearly three in 10 retirees had not estimated how many years their assets and investments might last in retirement, the report states, and an additional one in 10 retirees have never thought about it. By 2009, these proportions had increased to 34 percent and 11 percent respectively, and currently, 36 percent have not estimated how long their assets and investments might last, while 10 percent have not thought about it.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.