Retirement Peace of Mind

All people really want when it comes to retirement financial goals is peace of mind, and yet even affluent workers worry about being able to pay for their retirement health care expenses, according to a new survey.

All people really want when it comes to retirement financial goals is peace of mind, according to a new study.

The Merrill Lynch study, conducted with Age Wave, revealed that more people age 45 years and older said achieving peace of mind (88%) is more important than accumulating wealth (12%).

“Boomers have always paved their own way, and are once again pioneering new territory,” Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a statement. “They share a strong view that retirement is not an end but a beginning, an opportunity for reinvention. Their perspectives, concerns, goals and how they plan to achieve them are different. What they seek is clarity and confidence about what is possible in the context of their hopes and myriad uncertainties.”

The report “Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus” revealed the reinvention of retirement. According to respondents, seven out of 10 would like to include some work during their retirement years, such as part-time or short-term work. From 2006 to 2011, only the age 55-plus workforce grew.

Source: Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus

Even affluent respondents (>$250,000) were as likely to want to continue working in some capacity during retirement. This has less to do with the money for them and more to do with the stimulation and satisfaction that working brings. According to the report, half of respondents want to take the opportunity during retirement to launch into a whole new career rather than continuing in the same line of work.

According to the survey, health problems are the largest retirement worry, even among the affluent. Just one in nine pre-retirees is completely confident that they will be able to pay for their retirement health care expenses.

The report also revealed that despite people planning to delay retirement, 57% said they retired earlier than expected and the number one reason why wasn’t financial success — it was health problems.

Source: Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus

“Americans have mixed feelings about living longer and transitioning into retirement,” Ken Dychtwald, PhD, founder and CEO of Age Wave, said in a statement. “While they welcome the extra time to pursue new interests and spend more time with family and friends, they are concerned about outliving their assets and experiencing a serious health disruption. Even those who have saved adequately can be anxious and often overwhelmed by this complexity and the unknowns they face.”

For more findings from the survey, click here. For the full report, click here. (PDF)