Retirement & Financial Planning Report

A recent study found not surprisingly that a person’s risk of running short of money in retirement is higher at lower income levels, although it added that even those at the highest levels have some risk of that happening.

The study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute examined Baby Boom and Generation X populations, dividing them into income quartiles. It found that the risk of shortfalls is by far the greatest for the lowest quarter, with some facing a shortfall within just a year of retiring.


“While 5 percent or less of those in the second, third and highest income quartiles run short of money in the first year of retirement, more than two in five (43 percent) of those in the lowest income quartile would. By the 10th year in retirement (assuming retirement at age 65), nearly 3 in 4 (72 percent) of the lowest income quartile households would have run short of money, though fewer than 1 in 5 of those in the second-income quartile, 7 percent of those in the third-income quartile, and just 2 percent of those in the highest-income quartile are simulated to run short of money within a decade of retirement,” it said.

When certain added potential costs are considered, such as possible nursing home care, the number of households in the bottom quarter at risk exceeds the number of the other three segments combined.