For many people, retirement represents an exciting new stage of life. Retirement means a slower pace, no more focusing on work, traveling more, and spending more time with loved ones. This is what makes up the retirement dreams for millions of Americans. However, there are downsides to aging and to retirement, most of which are new financial concerns. Let me give you a few of the top financial concerns of Americans today:
Nearly 1 in 2 older adults’ biggest financial fear is not having enough money saved for retirement, and this is even more common for those between the ages of 55 and 64.
1 in 4 older adults fear they will never pay off their existing debt.
65% of people are afraid of running out of money in retirement. In fact, people are more afraid of running out of money than they are dying.
45% percent of people between 55 and 64 fear having high medical bills, while 39% of those over 65, including many on Medicare, have the same fear.
42% have more debt than they can manage…31% of seniors 60 and over say they have more debt than they can manage. Credit cards are the largest burden, then mortgages, medical bills, and even student loans.
Dealing with high medical bills was the second-biggest financial concern for older adults, and for those 65 and up, it’s their biggest fear.
The fact that medical bills are the biggest fear for those over the age of 65, leads me to believe that they are fearful of requiring services that are not covered by Medicare, such as long-term care, most dental care, hearing aids, and routine vision care. The main Medicare program also does not provide prescription drug coverage, and beneficiaries are still responsible for deductibles and copays in many cases. These costs can quickly add up. A private room in a nursing home, for example, costs almost $300 per day.
In addition to financial concerns, older adults’ biggest fear is their loved ones becoming seriously ill, and this was a common thread for all age groups, with at least 56 percent saying serious illness of a loved one was a major fear. The death of a loved one was also a major fear for all age groups.
After the death or illness of loved ones and political fears, not having sufficient retirement savings was the top fear for older adults. Older women were especially concerned about not having enough money for retirement. Forty-one percent of older men said this was a major fear of theirs compared to 52 percent of older women. There are several potential reasons for such a wide disparity.
So, if you have financial concerns in retirement, or you are not living the retirement lifestyle that you would like to, and you have a significant amount of equity in your home, you might consider looking into a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). These mortgages are a fantastic way to get access to some of the equity in your home, while still maintaining ownership of your home, without incurring a monthly mortgage payment. You must always pay your property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and HOA dues if applicable, and maintain your home. However, as long as you occupy the home and maintain the home as your principal residence, you never have to make a mortgage payment. These programs have been around since 1988 but have recently gone through some significant improvements and are better, safer programs than ever before.
By Gabe Bodner. Gabe is a retirement mortgage planner and licensed mortgage originator in Colorado. Gabe utilizes the latest research from the top researchers to assist his clients to live for today and plan for tomorrow. To reach Gabe, call 720.600.4870, e-mail [email protected] or visit reversemortgagesco.com.