Broker Check

What Retirees Can Teach Us

| December 21, 2016

It’s said that hindsight is 20/20, so lessons shared from those who have gone before us can often provide valuable insight.

A recent case in point: Transamerica’s Annual Retirement Survey. An in-depth look at the well-being of retirees today, the data provides tips and advice many pre-retirees can use to avoid mistakes and take advantage of hidden opportunities before it’s too late.

Here, a look at some of the key findings:

  • When retirees were asked to name their regrets, many said they should have saved more, started earlier, and learned more about their investment options. Fully 76 percent said they wish they would have saved more on a consistent basis, and 68 percent said they wish they had been more knowledgeable about retirement saving and investment. Nearly half (48 percent) said they waited too long to concern themselves with saving and investing for retirement.
  • Many retirees (60 percent) were forced to stop working sooner than planned. Just 27 percent had to retire due to personal health issues; 66 percent left due to things like organizational change, buyout offers, or being unhappy in their job. Experts say pre-retirees can stay in the workforce longer by keeping their job skills up to date, working with their employer on transition strategies, and considering encore career options if they’re unhappy in their current role.
  • Current retirees are most afraid of declining health that requires long-term care (44 percent), a reduction or loss of Social Security benefits (44 percent), and outliving savings and investments (41 percent). While a financial plan could help ease all three of these fears, just 10 percent of retirees said they have a written retirement strategy.
  • For some retirees, retired life looks different than planned. While 64 percent of retirees wanted to travel during their non-working years, only 33 percent are actually doing so. However, 56 percent wanted to spend more time with family and friends, and most of them—53 percent—are doing so. Most importantly, 90 percent of retirees said they’re enjoying retired life.