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Satisfaction in Retirement on the Rise

December 30, 2016

TIAA, a leading provider of financial planning services, recently released a new report focused on satisfaction in retirement. Its 2016 “Vision of Experience” survey was a reboot of a similar survey that the company did more than 30 years ago, in 1982.

Rate and Age of Retirement is Dropping

There are some remarkable discoveries in this new survey, despite the many consistencies with the 1982 findings. The overall rate of satisfaction with retirement, high in 1982, remains high. But what has changed is the intensity of retirees’ satisfaction, with 65 percent saying today that they are very satisfied, a notable jump from 51 percent in 1982.

Another significant trend, which reflects an acceleration from 1982, is that people are retiring earlier. In 1982, just under 40 percent of TIAA plan participants retired before 65. In 2016, more than half (54 percent) of respondents retired before 65.

Indeed, many are taking retirement ahead of their original intentions: 71 percent of today’s retirees had expected to work until 65 or older, but only 47 percent did. Moreover, just over three-quarters of recent respondents said that they retired by choice, an increase from 67 percent in 1982.

Transition to Retirement: Earlier is Easy

Most respondents (73 percent) reported that the transition to retirement was easy. Perhaps more notable is the discovery that those who retired earlier found the transition from working to retirement easier, in contrast to later retirees.

Of those retiring by age 60, 76 percent found the transition relatively easy. For those retiring between 60 and 64, they reported the same level of transitional comfort and ease.

For people retiring between 65-70, the percentage of those finding the transition easy starts to drop, to 69 percent. After 71, only 61 percent of respondents found the transition easy.

Early Preparation is Critical

Early and ongoing preparation is vital for successful retirement. The sooner you start planning, the more flexibility and control you are likely to have over your retirement choices and lifestyle. Among current retirees, those who started their retirement planning early, before 30, were more likely to retire before 60. Perhaps it is no surprise to learn that 75 percent of today’s early planners are very satisfied with their retirement.

The survey also showed that it is never too late to start planning: 60 percent of respondents who started to financially plan for retirement after 50 are also very satisfied with retirement.

More Satisfied: Active and Engaged Retirees

The more active retirees were more satisfied. In the survey, the three-quarters who engaged in 10 or more activities were very satisfied with retirement. But only 52 percent engaged in 1-4 activities said the same.

Delaware’s 55+ communities can help you facilitate an earlier and very satisfying retirement. It is never too early to start planning; and for that reason, it is never too early to start checking out active retirement communities in Delaware and other locales across the U.S.



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