The 12 biggest fears workers have about retirement

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Does the thought of retirement sometimes make you shiver? If so, you are not alone.

Your golden years are meant to be a time to relax and enjoy life. But the thought of funding decades of retirement without a steady paycheck is nerve-racking even for the most hardy of souls.

Over 3,100 adults working in for-profit companies recently revealed their biggest retirement worries at the 21st Annual Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies Workers’ retirement survey. Here are the dozen fears that haunt their visions of retirement.

12. Being laid off – not being able to retire on my own terms

Senior worker dismissed
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Respondents who cite this as one of the top retirement fears: 17%

Discrimination on the basis of age in the workplace is illegal. Alas, it is also a fact of life.

A joint analysis by ProPublica and the Urban Institute estimate that 56% of workers experience at least one involuntary job loss after 50 years. Only 1 in 10 of these workers find a job as paying as their previous position.

If you’re an older worker looking for a new job, check out “The 20 Most Popular Jobs for Seniors”.

11. Find meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved.

Woman with box of clothes to give
Kate Kultsevych / Shutterstock.com

Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 21%

Many of us dream of a retirement full of endless rounds of golf or weekend getaways. But having too much free time to do nothing is not the recipe for happiness.

Volunteering is a great way to make retirement meaningful. But if you are considering volunteering in your golden years, start now. As we point out in “12 Hard Truths About Retirement:”

“Of the people who did not volunteer during their working years, only a third eventually started volunteering in retirement. “

10. Affordable housing

house costs exceeding savings
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Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 22%

A decade ago, homes were selling at bargain prices, thanks to the bursting of the real estate bubble that triggered the Great Recession. Since then, house prices have exploded, leaving today’s workers clearly worried about future costs.

While you can’t control house prices, you can significantly reduce your costs by getting the right mortgage. So stop by the Money Talks News Solutions Center and search for a great mortgage rate.

9. Feel isolated and alone

Middle aged sad woman
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Respondents who cite this as one of the top retirement fears: 27%

The life of seniors can be lonely. Without the camaraderie of the workplace, some people find themselves alone far more often than they would like. As we have reported, this is mostly a problem for single men.

But overall, retirement is what you make of it. So focus on bonding with your friends and family now to create a happy retirement in the future.

7. Lack of access to adequate and affordable health care (equality)

Home help
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Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 29%

In general, the older we get, the more health services become a part of our life. The cost of health care appears to be skyrocketing, but one way to keep those costs under control is to open a health savings account.

You have to meet certain conditions to be eligible for an HSA, but if you are eligible, this type of account offers some of the most impressive tax benefits in all of the IRS code.

7. Losing my independence (tie)

Rest house
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Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 29%

Few things frighten older people more than the idea of ​​depending on others. Physical ailments and illnesses like dementia can quickly rob us of our ability to take care of ourselves.

It is a reality of retirement for millions of people, especially for those who live long. All we can do is prepare ourselves – mentally and financially – for this possibility.

6. Not being able to meet my family’s basic financial needs

An old man holding an empty wallet
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Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 32%

Growing old does not mean the end of worrying about taking care of loved ones. However, it can be difficult to support others when you no longer have a regular income.

Investing wisely during your working years can help you build a big nest egg that will help support your loved ones in retirement.

Building a solid real estate plan also allows you to take care of your family after you leave. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has some thoughts on the subject in her Estate Planning Tips and Tricks podcast.

5. Cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

Elder with dementia
LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 32%

One of the great fears in life is the worry that one day our ability to think may decline. But that’s just another of the realities of life, even though we wish it wasn’t.

Ultimately, there is no sure way to prevent cognitive decline. But researchers have suggested a handful of things you can do to lower your risk. For more information, see:

4. Possible costs of long-term care

Man with dementia
LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 34%

Standard retirement costs cause enough worry, but the price of long-term care sends financial anxiety to a whole new level.

If you’re ready to tackle this sobering part of senior living head-on, check out “Should I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?” “

3. Social security will be reduced or cease to exist in the future.

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Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 38%

It is a widely reported fact that Social Security finances are in trouble. All of this publicity is probably contributing to the level of fear that workers today feel about the future of the program.

Is there still time to fix things? Social Security expert Jeff Miller gave his opinion last summer in “Can Congress Still Fix Social Security?” “

2. Declining health that requires long-term care

Senior with dementia doing occupational therapy
Toa55 / Shutterstock.com

Respondents citing this as one of the top retirement fears: 39%

If you pay close attention, you notice a theme on this list. Workers worry a lot about their long-term physical and mental health and what a drop in either or both could mean for their retirement years.

1. Outlive my savings and investments

Senior woman worried about money
Maria Symchych / Shutterstock.com

Respondents who cite this as one of the top retirement fears: 42%

Most of us fear that we will run out of money before we run out of life, as the old saying goes. So it’s no surprise to see this fear at the top of the list.

As a group, American workers have notoriously saved little for retirement. And for many of us, time is running out if we hope to build a decent-sized nest egg.

Instead of panicking, sign up for the Money Talks News retreat course The only retirement guide you’ll ever need.

Money Talks News Founder Stacy Johnson is your guide to the online course – a 14-week boot camp for people 45 or older. It can teach you everything from Social Security secrets to planning for your retirement.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation for clicking on links in our stories.

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