Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Common retirement fears are declining health that requires long-term care and Social Security insolvency. Image: Prostock-studio/

A study has found that the three positive words or phrases that working age people most commonly associate with retirement are freedom, enjoyment and stress-free—while on the negative side, the three most common were health decline, financial insecurity and boredom.

The report by the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies further found that among some 5,800 persons polled, those working for an employer were much more likely to have the positive associations than were the unemployed or self-employed. However, all were about equally likely to have the negative associations.

Following the top three in order among positive associations were fulfillment, opportunity and personal growth, while following the top three among the negative associations were dependence on others, isolation and feeling unimportant.

Similarly, when thinking about retirement those either employed or self-employed “are significantly more likely to cite having retirement dreams than unemployed workers. Across the workforce, the most often cited retirement dreams are traveling (58 percent), spending more time with family and friends (53 percent), and pursuing hobbies (46 percent).”

On the negative side, “the most often cited retirement fears are declining health that requires long-term care (36 percent), Social Security will be reduced or cease to exist in the future (36 percent), outliving their savings and investments (35 percent), possible long-term care costs (30 percent), not being able to meet the financial needs of their family (30 percent), and cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease (29 percent).”

Financially-related fears also contribute to retirement plans, with 31 percent planning to continue working past age 65 and another 19 percent never expecting to retire. And 58 percent expect to continue to work in retirement at least part time, it said.

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