The majority of Americans (78%) nearing retirement expect to be extremely happy after they leave the workforce – and why not? They are looking forward to spending unrestricted time with family, traveling, and pursuing personal hobbies and goals. But it appears many may be financially ill-prepared to participate in these activities as much as they’d like to, according to the
survey released today by Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP).
Only 46% of Americans ages 50-70 say they are extremely or very confident they’ll be able to afford essential expenses like housing, utilities and medical costs in retirement. Even fewer (38%) say the same about their confidence in affording extras like traveling and pursuing hobbies. There is also a significant group (38%) of Americans who may not have an accurate understanding of what those costs will be since they admit they haven’t yet estimated their annual expenses for retirement. Adding to these worrisome numbers is the fact that many aren’t taking basic financial steps that experts recommend to feel financially confident in retirement.
“There seems to be a significant disconnect between the expectations that Americans have for their lifestyle in retirement, and the financial steps they’re taking – or not taking – to make those expectations a reality,” said Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial. “The good news is there are several things that most people are doing right, and there are steps that everyone can take to help build their financial readiness for retirement.”
Retirement Mindset and Preparedness – A Worrisome Disconnect
On the surface, it appears that Americans nearing retirement are feeling pretty good about leaving the workforce. Seven in ten (70%) say they feel in control of their financial future, and the overwhelming majority (88%) say they feel comfortable navigating all of the resources available about retirement preparation. Three-quarters of Americans (72%) even say that their dream retirement includes really nice vacations.
However, since more than half (53%) of survey participants say they’re only moderately confident or not confident about their ability to afford the essentials in retirement, it seems that some respondents may be experiencing a sense of complacency when it comes to financial preparation for this milestone. Fewer than two-thirds (62%) assert that they’ve done everything they can to prepare, while nearly three out of five (58%) say they could save more than what they’re putting away now.