Too few give thought to withdrawal strategiesNews added by Benefits Pro on July 31, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Marlene Y. Satter

Those over 50 have devoted more thought to how they can pay for healthcare once they’ve retired than they have to how and when they should make withdrawals from retirement assets.

That’s the key finding of one of the latest surveys conducted by American United Life Insurance Co., a OneAmerica company.

Conducted on its retirement plan participant website, AUL’s survey asked 7,545 visitors to the site about their behaviors regarding retirement. It found that while 64 percent of people over 50 have thought about how they might manage to pay for healthcare expenses that might arise once they’ve left the workforce, only 43 percent have devoted time and effort to figuring out a strategy to draw on their retirement assets.

Marsha Whitehead, the company’s vice president of marketing for retirement services and employee benefits, said the findings underscore that consumers “need to have a plan for how to withdraw retirement assets and maintain an income throughout their life.”

She added, “Managing income in retirement is especially important given the additional healthcare expenses and the uncertainty of how long you’ll need it.”

Uncertainty seems to be the key word here. Only 50 percent of respondents consider themselves to be up to snuff on financial issues, and 55 percent said they weren’t sure how to figure out how much they might need for retirement.

Another survey finding was the probably unsurprising fact that 57 percent of participants don’t put more money into their retirement plans because of other financial priorities. One of those priorities is apparently not getting professional help with their finances; more than 20 percent said they don’t work with a financial professional because they think it will be too expensive.

Still, Whitehead said, “Participants over 50 (68 percent) said they would welcome assistance with their post-retirement withdrawals and investments. We have an opportunity to further engage with and assist these participants in all aspects of building a retirement income strategy.”

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