Are Your Investments Ready for Retirement?

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies is a great resource for understanding the average American workers attitude toward retirement. Over 4,000 workers, US residents age 18 and older and working for a full or part time for-profit, answered a 25-minute online survey to study “50 Indicators of Retirement Readiness.” Below are key results from this year’s study:

  • Retirement Confidence: Make no mistake – the Great Recession of 2008, rocked the confidence level of many American workers. However, several years later, the survey found that many have recovered: findings show that 62% feel confident that they can retire comfortably, with  15% feeling “very confident” and 47% as “somewhat confident.”  That said, some people still feel “recession weary” and have not really recovered.  About 41% said they “somewhat recovered” with 13% admitting that they have not recovered yet, and seven percent acknowledging they would not recover. In 2008, gold saw returns of 5% and the following year, gold gained approximately 24%. This underscores the importance of diversification when planning for retirement — a well-balanced portfolio may help you sleep better at night and it is easier than ever to buy gold online.
  • What Will People Do When Retired: The Transamerica found that many workers dream of traveling – something that has been written and even sung about for years.  In fact, 65% of those surveyed chose traveling while, 56% said they would spend time with family and friends and 28% said they would like to be employed.
  • Retirement Anxieties: When Transamerica probed people’s greatest fears about retiring, more than half (51%) said “outliving” their retirement expenses.  There is great anxiety about social security payments going down (47%) and 45% have great fears about their health taking a turn for the worse such as having to endure assisted care or even having “cognitive decline.”
  • How Old Will Americans Live: According to the survey, most plan to live until the ripe age of 86 and 68% said that they are planning to live to at least age 80 or older. Only 15% said they are “not sure” in terms of ira
  • People are Nervous about Preparing for Retirement: The study found that many employees are still shaky when it comes to “achieving” retirement security – with 82% saying they will have a harder time than their parents.  A resounding 77% of survey participants are fearful that social security may not be around when they retire or be as plentiful as it is today.  A number of participants, two-thirds, also admitted to not knowing much about investing for retirement and could use some education in the matter.
  • Standard of Living: Most survey participants do have confidence in their ability to achieve a lifestyle similar to their current standard of living (59%) while 30% think their lifestyle could take a dip in the wrong direction during retirement.
  • Retirement Priorities: Most working Americans admit that planning and saving for their retirement years is a top priority (57%). However, 44% of survey participants admitted that “just getting by” and covering their expenses was a priority.  Not surprisingly, 39% said paying off their credit card debt was a top goal for them currently.
  • Is Retirement High on the List? The survey asked participants what their “greatest financial priority” is and the most (26%) did in fact answer that “saving for retirement” followed by “just getting by – covering basic living expenses” (21 %) and paying off credit card (17%).
  • What Workers are Doing to Save for Retirement Income: The study found that most people are saving through savings accounts including 401Ks, 403Bs, IRAs and more.  Most workers are saving 78% NET and 69% 401Ks and other retirement investment accounts.  A resounding 70% said social security is another source of retirement income.  Workers (25%)  are benefitting from employee-funded plans. At last, 38% said “work” as a source of income during retirement.
  • What Income are People Drawing from During Retirement: Where are workers drawing their incomes during their actual retirement?  The study found that 36% said through “self-funded” 401Ks or IRAs; 25% will use social security and 15% said “working.”
  • What Do Workers Value – Retirement Benefits versus other Types of Benefits: The survey reported that that an employee-sponsored benefits are “very” important while 72% responded “pension plans.” However, the number one benefit that people indicated is the MOST important and vital?  Ninety-four-percent said health insurance.
  • What Benefits Are the Most Offered to Employees? The study found that over the past five years, 80% of employees are getting health insurance (this is up a few percentage points from 2015); life insurance (57%); disability (48%).
  • What Specific Retirement Benefits are Offered: It turns out that a majority (71%) are offered 401Ks and other employer-funded plans. Unfortunately, a good 23% are not offered any type of retirement plan, which is why a self-directed precious metals IRA may be a smart option to consider.