As you plan for retirement, you might wonder what life will really be like on the other side of that target retirement date. Will you experience any surprises, or will things go as planned? Which resources will you feel are lacking, and which parts of retirement will satisfy you? Researchers from Wells Fargo wondered those same things, and conducted a poll to help paint a clearer picture of retirement today. Here’s what current retirees had to say.
The average age of retirement was 62, but…
- 27 percent of men said they had to retire earlier than planned, and
- 19 percent of women said it would have been better to wait.
Healthcare costs can be surprising. The good news is that 45 percent of survey respondents said that their healthcare costs were “about what they expected”. However, 37 percent say that the cost of healthcare has exceeded their estimates, and only 9 percent have received the pleasant surprise of lower-than-estimated medical expenses.
Nearly a third of retirees say that their living expenses are higher than they predicted. Taxes presented a surprise for 26 percent of respondents, who said they were higher than expected. Everyday living expenses were an unpleasant shock for 27 percent, who underestimated the cost of their lifestyles.
Now for the good news. The above news might seem a bit disappointing, but we do have some good news. It seems that those who prepared for retirement are happy with their financial situations. Of those who participated in a 401(k), 92 percent said they were satisfied with their retirement plans.
The takeaway lesson here is that retirement can present some surprises, particularly with regard to timing. Sometimes we need to retire earlier than planned, so keep your plans flexible. Run the numbers several ways, so that you understand how your income will be affected by various retirement dates. Also, when calculating your future living expenses (especially healthcare), leave a bit of “wiggle room” for errors. None of us can predict, with absolute certainty, how rising costs of individual items and services will affect us.
For more information on retirement planning, give us a call. We can help you evaluate all of these factors, and others that might impact your future.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.