Retirement & Financial Planning Report

While retirement preparation is a common source of stress, some personal characteristics are associated with especially high levels of it, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

In a survey, two-tenths strongly agreed and another four-tenths agreed that retirement preparation makes them stressed, while only one tenth strongly disagreed. Somewhat predictably, those who feel that they are very or somewhat financially secure feel less stressed than those who don’t; “71 percent of those not stressed about preparing for retirement felt financially secure, whereas only 30 percent of those who felt stressed about preparing for retirement reported being financially secure,” it said.

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The next-strongest indicator of retirement preparation-related stress related to health. Of those who said their health is excellent or very good, only 51 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that preparing for retirement makes them stressed. In contrast, 75 percent of those with only fair to poor health agreed or strongly agreed.

It also found differences, although not as significant, by family income (52 percent for those above $75,000 versus 64 percent for those below); education (54 percent for those with at least a bachelor’s degree versus 61 percent for those without); age (54 percent for those 50 and up versus 61 percent for those below); and gender (53 percent for males versus 64 percent for females).