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Recent Retirees Still See Room for Optimism

Survey data shared by Spectrem Group shows “overwhelming satisfaction” among both recent and long-term retirees with respect to their personal and financial lives after work; many could have sought advice earlier.

By John Manganaro editors@strategic-i.com | January 10, 2017
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A new Spectrem Group analysis that examines the attitudes, behaviors and concerns of recent retirees—out of the workforce less than a decade—and those retired for 20 years or more, reveals overwhelming satisfaction with life in retirement.

“A whopping eight out of ten U.S. retirees find life in retirement better than they had originally anticipated,” the firm reports. “At the same time, however, the report shows that many retirees failed to begin planning until just five years before they left the workforce, with nearly a quarter acknowledging that it wasn’t until the year they retired that they started planning for life after work.”

The failure to plan and seek advice almost certainly means many workers are achieving sub-optimal outcomes during the period leading up to and transitioning into retirement. In fact, the quantitative portion of the study indicates that only half of retirees sought any professional advice for their retirement planning, with nearly a third indicating that the reason they didn’t was that “in their opinion professional retirement planning services cost more than the value delivered.”

“Once retired, the lion’s share of retirees’ monthly income comes from pensions and Social Security, which together comprise 58% of monthly cash flow among those surveyed,” researchers explain. Nearly seven in ten retirees said they use a financial adviser to help manage these responsibilities.

While retirees share common everyday concerns about budgeting and spending, the single greatest challenge they expressed was in managing and dealing with medical care, a concern shared by one in four (25%) retirees.

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