Middle-income Boomers stress over health in retirement

By Heather Trese
June 7, 2011
A new study from Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (CSR) found that the top three concerns of middle-income baby boomers when it comes to retirement include health care expenses, outliving their money, and inflation.

The CSR's Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement surveyed 500 middle-income Americans between ages 47 and 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000.

According to the study, 95 percent of boomers have financial concerns about retirement, particularly around health care (80 percent), and are taking drastic measures to cut costs.

To help combat this, 64 percent have taken action to reduce their health care expenses no matter what the consequences of those actions might be. More than half (55 percent) have held off going to the doctor, 26 percent postponed an elective surgery, and 25 percent switched to a less expensive healthcare plan.

In addition, 55 percent are spending less on discretionary items such as dining out, vacations and gifts, and 43 percent have reduced their credit card debt.

America's financial meltdown was a wake-up call for many middle-income boomers and according to the study, nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed expect that the changes they have made in their financial behavior will most likely be permanent.

But the current economic uncertainty continues to be a major cause for concern for many pre-retirees, especially middle-income women. The CSR's study found that women ages 47 to 65 tend to have more financial worries about retirement than men. Their most pressing concerns include inflation, living longer than their savings and declines in the stock market.

This article originally appeared on the BenefitsPro web site, a Summit Business Media publication. 2011 BenefitsPro.