“Retirees’ overall confidence shows signs of decline, but their confidence in being able to afford medical and long-term care expenses in retirement is down significantly,” states the Retirement Confidence Survey annual report. “Relatedly, their confidence that Social Security and Medicare will continue to provide benefits equal to what retirees receive today has decreased, states the report.”
The Retirement Confidence Survey is conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and independent research firm Greenwald & Associates.
The RCS is the longest-running survey of its kind, measuring worker and retiree confidence about retirement. The 2018 survey of 2,042 Americans was conducted online January 3 through January 16, 2018. All respondents were age 25 or older. The survey includes 1,002 workers and 1,040 retirees.
Since this post is prepared for retirees and their advisors, I will be focusing on the results from the 1,040 retirees that responded to the survey.
More than 4 in 10 retirees reported higher than expected health care costs and another 1 in 4 state that long-term costs are higher.
“Health care expenses in retirement appear to be playing a notable role in retirees’ confidence,” report co-author Lisa Greenwald, executive vice president of market research company Greenwald & Associates, said in a statement announcing the results. “Half of retirees say they didn’t even try to calculate health expenses before retirement, and more than four in 10 retirees say their health care expenses are higher than they expected.”
Just 7% of the retired people surveyed for the annual report said they were “very confident” in receiving the same level of Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future, while the near-term confidence level in both of those government programs dropped between 2017 and 2018.
To keep this in perspective, retirees outlook is not terrible, but the fact that they have received about a total of a $5 increase in income from Social Security over the four years, combined with a polarizing political landscape may be playing into their slightly more negative outlook.
A reverse mortgage could be the cure for a large percentage of retirees if only they had the facts to make an informed decision. That is the reason for this blog. Please share this with people you think might benefit.