Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Studies showing high rates of people unprepared financially for retirement largely reflect continued increases in needed savings for retirement due to lengthening life expectancy and other factors, according to the Center for Retirement Research.

“The retirement income landscape has been changing in a way that systematically threatens the retirement security of millions of Americans,” it said.

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It said that life expectancy for a 65-year-old has increased steadily since 1960, rising for men from 13.2 years to a projected 19.7 in 2020, and from 17.4 to 22 for women.

“Second, while retirees have health insurance coverage through Medicare, they still face substantial out-of-pocket costs for premiums (Parts B and D), de¬ductibles, and co-payments. These costs have grown rapidly over time and equal about one-fifth of retirees’ income,” it said. “For individuals who require more than a brief stay in a nursing home, long-term care costs represent an additional expense.”

Those stresses have come at a time of extended low interest rates for the types of secure investments favored by retirees, along with increasing ages at which full Social Security benefits are paid and a general decline in defined benefit type retirement programs, it said.