Fewer than half of retirees (46 percent) agree that they have built a large enough retirement nest egg, with only 16 percent “strongly” agreeing and 30 percent “somewhat” agreeing, according to a new online survey of 2,043 retired or semi-retired Americans conducted last July by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
Titled A Precarious Existence: How Today’s Retirees Are Financially Faring in Retirement, the survey provides detailed findings about retirees’ lives in retirement, financial situation, living arrangements and plans for long-term care. Retirees are still relatively young at age 71 (median), healthy, and have a positive outlook on life. They are spending more time with family and friends (61 percent), pursuing hobbies (44 percent), traveling (39 percent), and engaging in a variety of other activities.
Retirees are getting by financially for the time-being. However, the survey finds indicators of their vulnerability:
- Sixty-six percent of retirees indicate that Social Security will be their primary source of income over the course of their retirement. Those who are currently receiving benefits started at age 62 (median), which is the earliest age that most workers can claim benefits, albeit at a permanently reduced amount.
- Retirees have an annual household income of $32,000 (estimated median). Twenty-five percent have a household income of less than $25,000, while only 15 percent have an income of $100,000 or more.
- Many are still paying off household debt:
- Among the 45 percent of retirees who have non-mortgage debt (i.e., credit card debt, car loans, student loans, medical debt, etc.), the estimated median is $4,000; and
Among the 28 percent of retirees who have mortgage debt (including any equity loans or lines of credit), the estimated median is $52,000.