The Impact of the Economy on Retirement Risks

A new report from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) assesses the impact of the recession on retirement planning based on findings from the 2009 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report, also from the SOA. The economic downturn made many respondents feel the need to take steps to improve their financial situation. While only one-quarter of retirees (23%) feel they have to go back to work, two-thirds of pre-retirees (64%) indicate they now feel they need to work longer. However, working longer may not be feasible for many people approaching retirement due to job losses and the difficulty of finding work in the current tough job market. More than four out of 10 people end up retiring earlier than planned.

While concern about retirement risk has remained stable among those already retired, pre-retirees have been more affected by the economic turmoil of 2007-2009. Both retirees and pre-retirees expressed concern about maintaining the value of their savings and investments with inflation (58% of retirees very or somewhat concerned, versus 71% of pre-retirees). Half of retirees and more than six in 10 pre-retirees also expressed concern about having enough money to pay for adequate health care (49% of retirees, 67% of pre-retirees), and their income varying from changes in interest rates (52% of retirees, 62% of pre-retirees). Despite these concerns, only a small minority of retirees (17%) and pre-retirees (25%) feel an increased need for professional financial advice as a result of the recession.

You can read more about the study at the SOA website.