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TransAmerica retirement survey
Old 10-18-2016, 10:11 AM   #1
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TransAmerica retirement survey

http://www.transamericacenter.org/do...compendium.pdf

The link takes you to the survey. Many of the questions and polls on this site are in the survey.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:14 AM   #2
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Can you tell us a little bit about the survey?
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Can you tell us a little bit about the survey?
Thanks for posting. Overall, excellent report with some good lessons within for those not yet retired. An overview:

Quote:
Ten Important Facts About Today’s Retirees

The compendium offers more than 50 indicators of retirees’ health and wealth by age range, including the
following 10 facts:

1. Just getting by and/or covering basic living expenses is the most frequently cited financial priority. Retirees
cite financial priorities including just getting by and/or covering basic living expenses (42 percent), paying
healthcare expenses (37 percent), paying off mortgages (21 percent), and continuing to save for
retirement (20 percent). An alarming 25 percent of retirees cite paying off credit card debt as a financial
priority. Most retirees are living on a modest income. The annual household income among retirees is
$32,000 (estimated median); however, there is a sizeable gap between those who are married ($48,000)
and unmarried ($19,000).

2. Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement income. Social Security (89 percent), followed by other
savings and investments (48 percent), company-funded pension plans (42 percent), and
401(k)/403(b)/IRAs (37 percent) are the most frequently cited current sources of income among retirees.
Among those currently receiving income from Social Security, the median age they started collecting
benefits was 62, despite major reductions to their monthly benefits. Only one percent waited until age 70,
the age at which one can receive maximum monthly benefits.

3. Retirees’ confidence about maintaining their lifestyle exceeds the size of their nest eggs. Seventy-two
percent of retirees are “somewhat” or “very” confident that they will be able to maintain a comfortable
lifestyle during retirement. However, fewer than half (46 percent) agree that they have built a large
enough retirement nest egg. Current household savings among retirees in all retirement accounts stands
at $119,000 (estimated median), with a wide disparity between retirees who are married ($224,000) and
unmarried ($40,000).

4. Sixty percent of retirees retired sooner than planned. Retirees in their fifties (79 percent) are far more
likely to have retired sooner than planned, when compared to older retirees. Two-thirds (67 percent) of
retirees in their sixties and 53 percent of age 70-plus retirees retired sooner than planned. Across age
ranges, fewer than 10 percent retired later than planned.

5. Reasons for retiring sooner than planned range from employment-related reasons to health issues.
Among retirees who retired sooner than planned, two-thirds (66 percent) cite employment-related reasons
for having done so. However, reasons for retiring sooner than planned vary by age range. Age 70-plus
retirees (70 percent) were most likely to retire due to employment-related reasons, while retirees in their
fifties (52 percent) were most likely to do so because of their own ill-heath. Only 12 percent of retirees of
all ages who retired sooner than planned say they did so because they saved enough money and could
afford to retire.

6. Retirees expect a long retirement and most say they are in good health. Retirees expect to live 28 years
(median) in retirement, and 41 percent expect a retirement of more than 30 years. Most retirees (70
percent) believe that they are in good or excellent health with one notable exception: retirees in their fifties.
Only 55 percent of retirees in their fifties consider themselves in good or excellent health. Moreover, 45
percent of retirees in their fifties say they are in fair or poor health, a finding that is much higher than
retirees aged 60 and older.

7. Most retirees are happy and enjoying life. The vast majority of retirees say that they are a generally happy
person (94 percent), are enjoying life (90 percent), and have a strong sense of purpose (84 percent).
However, some say that everyday activities are becoming more difficult for them (31 percent) and/or that
they are having difficulties making ends meet (28 percent). Eleven percent feel isolated and lonely.

8. Retirees spend their time in a wide variety of activities. Retirees most frequently cite spending more time
with family and friends (53 percent), pursuing hobbies (40 percent), and traveling (33 percent) as ways
they are spending their time in retirement. Twenty-four percent are doing volunteer work and 11 percent
are taking care of their grandchildren. Retirees under age 65 are more likely than older retirees to say they
are traveling (72 percent vs 62 percent, respectively) and pursuing hobbies (54 percent vs 42 percent,
respectively). In contrast, retirees age 65 and older are more likely to be doing volunteer work.

9. Retirees’ fears evolve with their age and stage in life. Retirees most frequently cite declining health that
requires long-term care (44 percent) and a reduction in or elimination of Social Security (44 percent) as
their greatest retirement fears, closely followed by outliving their savings and investments (41 percent).
Notably, more age 60-plus retirees cite declining health that requires long-term care as a fear. In contrast,
more retirees in their fifties fear difficulties in finding meaningful ways to spend their time, not being able
to meet the basic needs of their families, and/or feeling isolated and alone.

10. Few retirees have a written financial plan for their retirement. More than half of retirees (54 percent)
indicate that they have a retirement strategy, but only 10 percent have it in writing. Among retirees with a
retirement strategy, most factor Social Security and Medicare benefits (88 percent) into their current
strategy – and many include ongoing living expenses (71 percent), healthcare costs (60 percent), a budget
for basic living expenses (60 percent), total savings and income needs (60 percent), and investment
returns (56 percent). However, relatively few consider important factors such as pursuing retirement
dreams (31 percent), inflation (30 percent), estate planning (26 percent), tax planning (25 percent), and
long-term care insurance (23 percent). Only seven percent have contingency plans for retiring sooner than
expected and/or savings shortfalls.
One key takeaway (which has been confirmed by many other studies as well) for those not yet retired:

Quote:
A majority of retirees (60 percent) retired sooner than they had planned while one-third (33
percent) retired as planned. Only seven percent retired later than they had planned.

Among retirees who retired sooner than planned, two-thirds (66 percent) cite employment-related
reasons for having done so
. These reasons include organizational changes, loss of job, and
unhappiness with job/career.
Emphasis mine

Other interesting facts:

Quote:
Most retirees (76 percent) wish that they would have saved more and on a consistent basis when
looking back on their retirement preparations. More than two-thirds (68 percent) wish they had
been more knowledgeable about retirement saving and investing.
Quote:
Many retirees across age ranges (45 percent +/-) have either fully financially recovered or were
not impacted by the Great Recession. Retirees in their fifties (24 percent) have the largest
proportion who say that they have either not yet begun to recover or may never recover while age
60 to 64 retirees have the fewest who say this (16 percent)
.
Emphasis mine
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:11 AM   #4
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It's from Transamericia(life insurance company) not transfer America. Darn autocorrect.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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Looks interesting. Thanks for the link, Rustic--and Options for clarifying that it is a compendium of results, not a live survey!
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
It's from Transamericia(life insurance company) not transfer America. Darn autocorrect.
I went ahead and fixed the title to TransAmerica.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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I am not great at math, but how is the median age for taking social security 62? I didn't think you could take it younger than that...so....uh...what am I missing?
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:35 PM   #8
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You can collect survivor benes at 60
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:17 PM   #9
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I am not great at math, but how is the median age for taking social security 62? I didn't think you could take it younger than that...so....uh...what am I missing?
All that means is there is a great cluster of people at age 62 - probably more than half of all respondents. The detailed breakdown is on chart 66. Around 9% of respondents began benefits below age 60 (survivors benefits?)
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:27 PM   #10
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I am saddened and troubled after looking at the results. Perhaps I was too pessimistic in my planning or too optimistic in my life expectancy.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:46 PM   #11
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Interesting survey results, even for a LI company. I assume that a LI company will use this data as a sales tool. "Save more for retirement by investing in our innovative Whole Universal Variable Life Plan."


Quote:
Retirees expect a long retirement and most say they are in good health.

A lot of folks may find that this is not accurate.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:54 PM   #12
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Interesting survey results, even for a LI company. I assume that a LI company will use this data as a sales tool. "Save more for retirement by investing in our innovative Whole Universal Variable Life Plan."





A lot of folks may find that this is not accurate.
Ah yes, they have a vested interest in selling to you. Not only as Transamericia(subsidiary of AEGON) but under many other names all over the world.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Interesting survey results, even for a LI company. I assume that a LI company will use this data as a sales tool. "Save more for retirement by investing in our innovative Whole Universal Variable Life Plan."





A lot of folks may find that this is not accurate.
I do think many older adults think they are healthy. I know if you had asked me at 52, I would have said "heck yeah". the problem is with anything you don't know what's going to "creep up". now I'm in line for knee replacement, who knew.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:01 PM   #14
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Looks interesting. Thanks for the link, Rustic--and Options for clarifying that it is a compendium of results, not a live survey!
It was an online survey conducted by Harris Poll:

Quote:
A 24-minute, online survey was conducted between July 6 24, 2015 among a nationally representative sample of 2,012 retirees using the Harris Poll online panel. Retirees met the following criteria:

U.S. residents, age 50 or older
Consider themselves to be fully (N=1,741) or semi-retired (N=271)
Worked for a for-profit company employing 10 or more people for the majority of their career
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:25 PM   #15
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From the survey:

Current household savings among retirees in all retirement accounts stands
at $119,000 (estimated median), with a wide disparity between retirees who are married ($224,000) and
unmarried ($40,000).


Seriously? I understand that may be accurate, but then how are they living? There must be a substantial percentage that have pensions and healthcare.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:32 AM   #16
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"Among retirees who retired sooner than planned, two-thirds (66 percent) cite employment-related reasons for having done so. These reasons include organizational changes, loss of job, and unhappiness with job/career."

Thx for the link & the great summary.

I was struck by the high % of people retiring sooner than planned due to "employment-related" issues (i.e.: downsized, laid off, fired or tired).
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Huston55 View Post
[B][I]

I was struck by the high % of people retiring sooner than planned due to "employment-related" issues (i.e.: downsized, laid off, fired or tired).
I'm tired too
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Old 10-20-2016, 10:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
From the survey:

Current household savings among retirees in all retirement accounts stands
at $119,000 (estimated median), with a wide disparity between retirees who are married ($224,000) and
unmarried ($40,000).


Seriously? I understand that may be accurate, but then how are they living? There must be a substantial percentage that have pensions and healthcare.
Social security provides a large portion of most retiree's income. The 4 Most Important Sources of Retirement Income | Planning to Retire | US News
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