Research published recently by Edward Jones and consulting firm Age Wave finds that older Americans are living in a new retirement age that allows them to be more active, engaged, exploratory and purposeful compared to their parents and grandparents. The research identifies four key ingredients, or pillars, to living well in retirement that includes health, family, purpose and finances.
The research is based on a survey of 9,000 Americans and Canadians across five generations.
In a video interview with Retirement Daily Editor Robert Powell, Age Wave CEO Ken Dychtwald said the majority of retirees now call retirement “a whole new chapter of life.” Highlights:
- Pillar 1: Health. Part of what’s new about retirement is a longer lifespan and more years in this life stage. Good health offers choices. Unfortunately, most adults spend 10 years in poor health. The most feared condition in America is Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia;
- Pillar 2: Family. Family is the greatest source of satisfaction, support and purpose. On the one hand, adults 50+ worry about becoming a burden on their families. On the other hand, they are willing to offer financial support to family regardless of how it impacts their future;
- Pillar 3: Purpose. Retirees say their greatest source of purpose is from spending time with loved ones. They also value learning and growing. Yet now, with more than seven hours a day of free time, one in three new retirees struggle to find purpose in retirement; and
- Pillar 4: Finances. The role of money in retirement is to provide security and freedom. Over half of retirees wish they had budgeted more for unexpected expenses. When it comes to the unexpected, the cost of health care is more worrisome than a recession.
“All working people, especially pre-retirees, need to understand that the quality of their lives in retirement is rooted in what they do to improve their health, their relationships with family and friends, their sense of purpose, and their finances long before they retire,” the research says. “Then, in retirement, they must continue to learn how to improve and integrate the four pillars.” To learn more, read the full report.