New Study: What Do People Want in Retirement?

By Jan Cullinane
NABBW’s Expert on The New Retirement

A new study by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave, which  involved 6,300 people age 45 and over was recently released, providing interesting insights into what pre-retirees and retirees think about retirement.  Ten of the major findings:

  •  What’s the most important thing to pass on to future generations?  Answer: 74% said values and life lessons; 32% said money and real estate.
  •  Are you worried about outliving your assets?  47% said yes.
  •  What do pre-retirees think they will miss most about work when they retire?  The most popular answer was “reliable income.”
  •  What do retirees miss most about work when they retire?  The most popular answer was “social connections.”   
  •  More than half of pre-retirees planning to work in retirement said they would like to pursue an entirely different career.
  •  Top concerns about living a long life:  experiencing health problems, becoming a burden to others, and outliving their money.
  •  71% of people plan to work after leaving their primary career; 29% say they never want to work for pay again.
  • 58% of women and 56% of men retired earlier than they thought.  Biggest reason:  personal health issues, followed by believing they have enough money to fund their retirement.
  • Besides receiving financial advice, 45% said they would like help deciding where to retire.eldercare
  • Among those with children, 52% expect to provide some kind of support to their children, and 35% to their grandchildren.

 So, how do your answers compare?  This kind of date can provide interesting discussion and food for thought.  See the entire study, here.

Jan Cullinane is a speaker, author, consultant, and retirement expert. She has been featured on TV, radio, and in many newspapers and magazines. Clients include Ford Motor Company, Deloitte & Touche LLP, the federal government, the Smithsonian Institution, Wachovia Securities, and Wells Fargo Advisors. Jan has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Maryland. Her books include “AARP\’s The Single Woman\’s Guide to Retirement” (John Wiley & Sons), “The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life” (Rodale), and “Retire Happy!” (Hallmark Gift Books). Jan lives in Palm Coast, Florida and can speak backwards fluently!  Visit Jan at