Add one more voice to the chorus singing a cautionary song about retirement planning. According to the fourth annual Boomer Expectations for Retirement study from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), just 35% of Boomers are extremely or very confident they are doing (or did) a good job preparing financially for retirement—down from 44% in 2011. (IRI is an association of financial professionals involved in the retirement income industry.) The IRI survey of 800 Americans between the ages of 51 and 67 found that similarly low numbers of Boomers are confident about having enough money to take care of medical expenses in retirement (36%) and having enough money to live comfortably in retirement (33%).
The study also found that Boomers have become clearer about their intended retirement age, and that age is trending older. In 2011, 65% said they knew when they would retire. In the latest survey, 83% said they knew, with the percentage pegging their retirement age to 70 or older rising from 17% in 2011 to 28% in the latest survey. In a related finding, 40% said they expect that employment during retirement will be a major source of income in retirement.
The concern here is one we’ve highlighted before. On the one hand, a growing number of current workers are planning to work past the traditional retirement age and/or are counting on working for pay to some degree during retirement. On the other hand, other research has found that about half of today’s retirees actually retired earlier than intended and just 25% have worked for pay after retiring from their main career. Oftentimes, health problems prevent people from working as long as they planned to, and the older you get the harder it can be to find paid work.
One other finding from the IRI report may be of interest to the children of Baby Boomers: Whereas nearly 67% of Boomers surveyed in 2011 said they believed leaving an inheritance was important, today that figure has dropped to 46%.
What’s your intended retirement age? And what’s your backup plan in case you’re not able to work that long?