Half of Older Adults Say They’re ‘Chasing’ a Solid Retirement Plan Without Success

Yet another survey of American retirement savers has revealed that a significant chunk of people don’t feel comfortable with the amount of money they’ve already stockpiled — with about half feeling as though they’re chasing a retirement dream that may have already left them behind.

In a recent poll of adults aged 45 to 65 conducted by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, 49% of respondents were identified as “chasers” — people who felt as though they’d fallen behind on their retirement savings plans, or worried that it was nearly too late for them to achieve a comfortable post-working life without soon increasing their retirement savings.

That’s the despite the fact that the mean “chaser,” as identified by Allianz, had $400,000 in retirement savings. In addition, about half of that group had an IRA, with 35% reporting mutual funds and 37% with a traditional pension. By contrast, 70% of “confident savers” reported having an IRA, while about half had mutual funds or a pension plan.


In addition, more than 60% of the “chasers” said they worried about running out of money in retirement, or believed they’d have to work longer than preferred.

“Among those Americans actively saving for retirement, our study finds a dramatic difference between those who feel on track and those who feel behind, with this subset wishing for ways to catch up but without taking on too much risk,” Allianz Life vice president of consumer insights, said in a statement about the results. “While it’s a positive that they are actively saving for retirement, the level of anxiety is concerning and many are simply not aware of potential solutions to help them catch up.”

Among the less-confident group of “chasers,” 71% said they’d be willing to sacrifice the potential for growth in exchange for stability when looking into potential retirement products.

The Minneapolis-based Allianz’s survey joins a host of consumer probes showing general retirement uneasiness. Earlier this year, for instance, fellow life insurance provider Northwestern Mutual found that a third of Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, while a Federal Reserve survey revealed that less 40% of adults felt comfortable with their retirement outlooks.

Written by Alex Spanko

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  • I understand what the study is saying. For one, social security has not kept up to the pace of true inflation, in fact it is a joke and a rip off!

    The fund is going broke, one main reason is because back in 1967, when then President Johnson got the bill through congress to borrow from the fund, it has been depleting ever since!

    However, there is much more to the problem than social security. Many retirement plans went away from workers who worked for years to find themselves with a company that either laid them off early or went under! Many lost their pension plans or wound up with much less than they thought.

    Illness and medical expenses have eaten away savings from many seniors or those close to retirement.

    It is sad to see the state of our seniors who thought they would be able to retire The dollar value they remember has increased beyond their imagination!

    I am not saying a HECM or proprietary program is the answer to all Baby Boomers woes or those in their retirement years. However, a reverse mortgage can be the answer to many. We have so many senior homeowners that are turning 62 years old daily that need to be reached out to!

    We can help many and so many we can not, it is sad, very sad!

    John A. Smaldone

  • Retirement planning is just that. It is interesting seniors are so deluded as to put their trust in a so called “solid” retirement plan. Who is measuring the degree of how solid the plan is?

    We live in a very unrealistic world. Securities and insurance salespeople try to reassure us with sweet dreams of peace of mind. What is interesting is that most of my work life has caused me to grapple with the problems of the wealthy tangentially. I have overheard a large number of the less celebrated wealthy describe their concerns. They were not seeking my contribution but like household workers, my presence was just ignored.

    Retirement plans that appear to be “solid” many times “become” such due to the soothing words of a planner. Yet few planners are in retirement when giving “solid” advice. I am sure many seniors who allocated significant if not substantial portions of their portfolios into the dot coms of almost 20 years ago still feel the sting of such “solid” investments. Imagine the retirement plan trustees of the building trades less than 15 years who were led to believe that MBSs were the socially responsible securities for a large portion of their assets.

    Solid planning is only as strong as the competence, training, formal financial planning education, and independence of the planner creating the retirement plan and the accuracy of the assumptions about the remaining years before and throughout retirement. Trying to meet too many goals through retirement planning weakens the plan.

    Financial advisers are a dime a dozen. Even quality planners can foresee only so much. Disciplined and prudent accumulation of retirement assets is mandatory as is disciplined and prudent decumulation of those same assets throughout retirement. Retirement accumulation planning must be flexible and reviewed at least annually as must decumulation throughout retirement and don’t forget ultimately cash is king in retirement and reverse mortgages with lines of credit are one of the few cash flow products by which seniors can also manage cash flow THROUGHOUT retirement.

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