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Inflation Ranks as Today's Top Retirement Concern
Date:5/19/2008

their retirement investments and savings by significantly contributing to their depletion. "With life expectancy reaching the highest level ever, there is a real possibility that those in retirement may outlive their assets," said Steve Vernon, FSA, MAAA, and president of Rest-of-Life Communications. To manage this risk, actuarial approaches include investment strategies to preserve principal, such as investing in annuities, joint and survivor annuities and deferred annuities commencing at later ages, such as 75 or 80.

Long-Term Care and Healthcare Concerns Highlighted

The survey also revealed that pre-retirees and retirees are concerned about their ability to afford long-term care. For example, nursing home care costs may reach $70,000 or more per person per year. To manage this risk, actuarial approaches include strategies such as personal health and wellness commitments and long-term care insurance that helps pay for the cost of seniors with care needs.

In addition, pre-retirees and retirees are concerned inflation will impact their ability to afford adequate healthcare. With catastrophic illness, medical costs for an over-65 retired couple not covered by Medicare can be a major financial burden exceeding $1 million over their lifetime. To manage this risk, actuarial approaches include strategies such as medical insurance and Medicare supplements.

Women's Concerns Higher Than Men's

Other findings of the study provide insight into the differences of how men and women perceive retirement risks and are affected by them. Women are more concerned than men that inflation will significantly impact their retirement resources. Such concerns may be magnified for women who have experienced the loss of a spouse. "For retirees living on a fixed income, the longer the period of retirement, the greater the impact of inflation," said Rappaport. "For this reason, women are more adversely affected by inflation than men because of their longer lif
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SOURCE Society of Actuaries
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