According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Security Research Center, profiling five types of retirees, the study uncovered patterns among retirees who identify as “average,” “comfortable,” “affluent,” “just getting by” or “struggling.”  (click here for the article)

  • Retirees with guaranteed income, little debt, a clear spend-down strategy and employer-provided assistance are among the most satisfied. 
  • Affluent retirees were likely to be home owners, mortgage-free with no debt. Struggling retirees were often renters with “unmanageable debt,” like credit cards or medical bills.   

Apparently, the biggest concern for those affluent retirees was how to carefully spend-down their nest eggs. Most fear either running out of money in retirement or face either a medical emergency or assisted living with out the adequate funds available to them. Yet, if they owned their own homes outright, the equity could either be tapped in an emergency or the house could be sold. The study concluded that retirees who were renters had the most to fear.

A steady, guaranteed retirement income (social security, pension, annuities etc), home ownership without a mortgage and total freedom from debt was the winning formula for an affluent retirement. Something to think about if you’re still at a stage in your life where you are saving for retirement.

Also noted in the article was that most folks think they will retire at 65. However, 45% of retirees found themselves retired at 62. “This is data we’ve seen for years and years in the retirement confidence surveys. People consistently believe that they’re going to retire later than they do.” That’s why it’s prudent to calculate your retirement planning to include for an early retirement scenario also.

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