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Top 22 retirement worries

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

What retirement planning concerns keeps you up at night?

The MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Society of Actuaries did a joint study on retirement risks, surveying adults ages 45 to 80, asking them to identify what worried them about retirement. Here are the issues various age groups identified as the most troubling.

Near the top of the list in every age category were changes to government programs, points out John Migliaccio, director of research for the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Between 50 percent and 59 percent of people in all circumstances and age ranges were worried about this, with couples in second marriages and those in domestic partnerships particularly concerned.

"There is really across-the-board consistency here," says Migliaccio. "People are aware of this issue and they understand it. They see it in the news and on TV. It's all over the place. It has tremendous implications for the presidential election."

Here's the whole list taken directly from the study, in no particular order.

  1. My financial resources in retirement will be reduced due to changes in government programs such as Social Security or Medicare.
  2. I might deplete all of my savings.
  3. I might not be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living for the rest of my life.
  4. I might not be able to leave money to my children/beneficiaries or their heirs.
  5. I might not be able to keep the value of my savings and investments up with inflation.
  6. My income in retirement may vary based on changes in interest rates.
  7. My assets may be eroded due to stock market declines or fluctuations.
  8. My pension or an annuity I purchased might be reduced due to insolvency of my former employer or an insurance company from which I bought an annuity.
  9. I might not be able to work as long as I planned.
  10. I might not be able to secure part-time work in retirement to supplement my income.
  11. My financial resources in retirement could be reduced due to increased taxes.
  12. I might not have enough money to pay for a long stay in a nursing home.
  13. I might not have enough money to pay for adequate health care.
  14. I may not have access or be able to afford quality facilities or caregivers when I need long-term care services.
  15. I might not be able to rely on children or other family members to provide assistance.
  16. I might not be able to live independently.
  17. I might not be able to afford to stay in my current home for the rest of my life.
  18. My spouse/partner may not be able to maintain the same standard of living after my death, if I should die first.
  19. I might have retirement savings depleted due to divorce or unwanted action by my spouse.
  20. My retirement resources might be depleted due to providing urgently needed help to other family members.
  21. My retirement resources might be depleted due to bad advice.
  22. My retirement resources might be depleted due to fraud or theft.
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