A recent survey released by the American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries shows that many Americans are unprepared for a secure retirement. "This survey verifies that most people do not understand many of the issues they will face when they retire," said John Parks, vice president for pension issues of the American Academy of Actuaries.
Survey results show that:
- Two-thirds of retired women and slightly more than half of retired men underestimate life expectancy. Of those who are nearing retirement, 54% of women and 46% of men underestimate life expectancy.
- More than half of those who have yet to retire are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about not having enough money in retirement or not being able to afford good health care.
- Only one-third of those not yet retired have given thought to a potential need for long-term care or an extended stay in a nursing home.
- While 63% of retirees and 60% of those not yet retired are pessimistic about the future of economic growth in the country, only 25% of retirees continue to attempt to increase their retirement savings each year.
The actuarial groups make recommendations to policymakers to educate those citizens who are facing retirement as to the risks facing older people, the costs of health care once one is no longer employed, and options for investment. The groups also recommend that Congress consider legislation that will encourage employers to provide defined benefit plans.
Six hundred Americans age 45 and older were interviewed for this survey. You can read the entire survey.