Poor planning limits wealth and health in retirement

Despite awareness of the savings needed for a long retirement, people globally have largely not sufficiently planned for their post-work lives, according to Mercer’s Healthy, Wealthy and Work-Wise report.

Mercer’s report, which surveyed 7,000 adults and 600 senior leaders in 12 countries, identified key issues facing people’s financial security that may prevent them being able to afford to live longer and well.

Mercer found that while people globally expect to spend 15-20 years in retirement, many don’t have appropriate planning to stop them from outliving their savings. Of the two thirds of adults expected to live past 80, only one in three are confident that they would have enough money to afford to do so.

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Health concerns also limited people’s confidence in their retirement plans. Of those surveyed, 40 per cent said that their health caused them stress with regard to financial security, and only 26 per cent were confident of being able to pay for medical costs.

Improved advice and benefits could have a positive impact on improving people’s retirement positions, though. People felt largely unsupported in this area, with 81 per cent feeling personally responsible for their retirement income and one third admitting they have not calculated how much they needed to save for retirement.

Eighty-six per cent said improved benefits or access would help them, and would also lead to greater job satisfaction and commitment. Many also felt that their employers could be a source of advice, with 79 per cent trusting their bosses to give sound, independent advice on planning, saving and investing.

Mercer found that technology could be key in delivering such support. Two thirds of adults said that they were comfortable managing their savings using online and mobile tools, and 85 per cent of adults (and 93 per cent of 18-34 year olds) were interesting in managing their finances online.

They did caveat that, however, that such tools must be secure and easy to use.

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