Retirement & Financial Planning Report

High net worth and good health are the top indicators of personal satisfaction in retirement but across those and other categories, satisfaction has been declining in recent years, according to a study.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that the percentage of retirees polled who reported “very satisfying” retirement fell from 60.5 to 48.6 percent since 1998, while those finding retirement “not at all satisfying” rose from 7.9 to 10.5 percent.


Further, even among those individuals tracked over time, satisfaction was slipping–running contrary to other reports concluding that retirement satisfaction tends to increase with age, all other things being equal.

The trends were found in both the top and bottom income quartiles, among those with defined benefit income or without, and among both men and women.

Health is a better indicator of retirement satisfaction than are finances, it added. Of those reporting their health as excellent, 79.8 percent found retirement very satisfying but that was true of only 25.6 percent of those whose health is poor, the lowest of the five choices available in the polling. Among the top quartile in assets, 71.5 percent are very satisfied, compared with 33.1 percent in the lowest quartile.