Franklin Templeton Investments conducted a new 2015 survey called the “Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey,” and I recently read an interesting article on Yahoofinance.com that discusses the survey’s findings.¹
This survey included 2,002 Americans, and Franklin Templeton Investments says their “annual survey reveals significant insights about the views, expectations and income strategies people have regarding retirement.”² The company also said this survey has taught them “more about individual behaviors and the impact working with an advisor has on helping people prepare for what’s next.”²
I found this survey very interesting, so I wanted to share my opinion on some of its findings.
To start, 61% of people said that if they were or are unable to retire as planned due to lack of sufficient income, they have delayed or will delay their retirement. Also, according to the survey, 67% of Americans experience some level of stress when it comes to their retirement savings and investments.¹
What is interesting to me about these two findings is that, according to the Yahoofinance.com article, “Lack of understanding surrounding retirement income needs and planning also seems to be driving stress levels among respondents. The findings show that those who do not understand their retirement income plan are significantly more likely to feel stress and anxiety than those who do understand their plan (86% vs. 66%, respectively). And the fact that nearly 40 percent of pre-retirees are not saving for retirement could be adding to stress and anxiety levels.”¹
These three findings all seem to relate to one another. Far too many people are undereducated when it comes to their individual retirement income needs, and— because the thought of planning increases stress levels—people just choose to put it off!
Well, what happens when you put off planning for something as important as retirement? Retirement approaches and you discover you may not have enough money to support the lifestyle you want in retirement, thus forcing you to delay your retirement.
It is an issue that can be avoidable. That is why retirement income specialists exist… We specialize in this! It’s our job to take the burden off of your shoulders and show you exactly how to help generate the income you need to help you comfortably retire when you want.
If you are part of the 86% of people who do not understand your retirement income plan, you may be working with the wrong person.
It is his or her job to help ensure that you understand everything before moving forward, and every step of the way.
The 66% of people belonging to the group who do understand their retirement plan may be working with a dedicated retirement income specialist. They’re being provided the guidance and education they need to help achieve the results they want. There are financial planners and there are retirement income specialists. When planning for retirement, you may need to seek the help from the latter.
To take it a step further, the article reveals, “When it comes to lack of understanding regarding retirement issues, Social Security appears to be a significant driver of confusion.” The article then goes on to list possible reasons for this, stating, “A few factors can be pinpointed: (1) the amount of their current income Social Security will replace (39 percent do not know with a high degree of confidence); (2) when to start to take the benefit (22 percent of pre-retirees don’t know); and (3) whether it will provide expected income in retirement (37 percent are not confident that it will).”¹
59% of retirees included in this survey took Social Security before full retirement age, with 16% waiting until full retirement age and 7% waiting until after full retirement age.¹
The thing is…
There are Social Security “tricks” that few people know about, so it makes sense that there is so much confusion surrounding the topic.
The fact of the matter is Social Security will most likely not be enough to cover all of your living expenses in retirement.
However, there are ways you can reduce taxes on social security. It’s a strategic plan that helps to maximize your income while minimizing your taxes. If more people knew about this, the stats I listed above would perhaps read a bit differently.
One of the findings that I find most disturbing from the survey is the fact that “close to half of retired respondents report (45 percent) that they live on less than 70 percent of their pre-retirement income,”  and “49% are concerned about outliving their assets or making major sacrifices to their retirement strategy.”²
As a retirement income specialist, it is painful for me to see people forced into altering their lifestyle to meet the amount of income they’re receiving. It should be the other way around…
Your income should meet the demands of your desired lifestyle.
And that can be achievable with careful planning, modified to meet your specific goals.
It all comes down to education. The more educated you are, the better prepared you will be to make those big decisions when the time comes. Take the proper steps to avoid being part of the statistic of people lacking proper understanding on all retirement issues.
There are options out there that you may have never been told exist. Rather than fearing the possibility of running out of money and not being told how to help avoid that from happening, discover how you can create a more comfortable retirement for yourself with less financial worries.
Knowledge is power. As long as you lack knowledge, you lack power. If there is anyone who should have power over your retirement, it’s you.