Just getting by and/or covering basic living expenses is the most frequently cited financial priority of retirees, cited by 42 percent in a poll, followed by paying for health expenses, 37 percent. “An alarming 25 percent of retirees cite paying off credit card debt as a financial priority,” added a report from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Paying off a mortgage was cited by 21 percent, and continuing to save for the future by 20 percent.

It also found something of a paradox in that 72 percent of retirees are “somewhat” or “very” confident that they will be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle during retirement even though only 46 percent believe they have built a large enough retirement nest egg.

Sixty percent said their standard of living has stayed the same since they retired, while 28 percent said it has decreased.

Also, 60 percent of retirees said they retired sooner than they had expected–that was true of 79 percent who are retired in their fifties–with employment-related and health-related reasons the main reason. Just 12 percent of those who retired sooner than they had expected did so because they decided that they could afford to retire earlier.

Of the rest, 33 percent said they retired later than they had planned and just 7 percent said they retired when they had planned. In the former group, 61 percent cited financial and employee benefit related reasons.

The data came from a telephone poll of more than 2,000 persons age 50 and older.