Sunday, December 7, 2014

What People (don't) Know about Retirement

I often look around for non-political surveys, especially those that measure what people know. In this case, it's a survey that finds people nearing retirement age don't know a hell of a lot about, yes, retirement. At least from a financial standpoint.

The lede (not, sadly, in correct AP Style):
Just 20% of retirement-age Americans can pass a basic quiz on how to make their nest eggs last throughout retirement. In fact, a large majority of people age 60 to 75 with at least $100,000 in assets lack the knowledge they need for a financially secure retirement in areas such as life expectancy, Social Security, long-term care needs, investment risk and more. 
The survey itself was conducted this past summer with 1,019 Americans ages 60-75 with at least $100,000 in household assets, not including their primary home. Best I can tell it was done through online interviews.

Lemme be clear. I would not have done well myself. I didn't know about the "4 percent rule," which has to do with how much you should withdraw annually from your retirement savings. Sixteen percent of survey respondents thought 6 or 8 percent was more likely. You can read a press release here, in Word format, with more details.

Me? I don't really need to know much as I'm on UGA's "optional" retirement plan, which means at some point in the distant future I may have the "option" to retire, but will never really be able to afford it.

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