Few Take Steps to Prevent Outliving Assets

ORLANDO, Fla. (TheStreet) -- Nearly half of Americans ages 45-70 have no plans in place to protect themselves against outliving their assets and the rising cost of health care should they live longer than they expected, according to a survey released this week by the Society of Actuaries.

The professional organization also found that more than one-third are worried about running out of money during retirement, but only 20% plan to buy an annuity or other form of guaranteed lifetime income to protect their assets.


Seventy five percent of respondents said they protect their tangible assets through home or renter's insurance. Only 19% have plans to buy long-term care insurance, though.

The study was released in conjunction with SOA's Living to 100 Symposium, taking place in Orlando this week. Actuaries, gerontologists, biologists and researchers are attending to share research and insights on aging, changes in survival rates, challenges of surviving to very high ages and the impact of long life on business and society.

"With the challenges in the housing and financial markets over the past few years, coupled with the fact that people are living longer, many baby boomers are finding themselves unprepared to maintain their lifestyle in retirement," Anna Rappaport, president of Anna Rappaport Consulting, said in a statement accompanying the study. "As actuaries, we cannot stress enough the importance of having a plan in place that addresses all of the risks individuals may face in retirement, such as spending available assets too soon, meeting financial care needs, paying for the rising cost of health care and adjusting financially and otherwise to the loss of a spouse."

The SOA survey also found that 71% of respondents plan to claim Social Security before the age of 70.

Rappaport says she considers this a bad move and emphasizes the importance of claiming Social Security as late in life as possible to secure more guaranteed income and hedge against the risk of outliving assets.

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