Health is a chief worry of pre-retireesNews added by Benefits Pro on March 9, 2016

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By Marlene Y. Satter

According to an HSBC report, “The Future of Retirement: Healthy New Beginnings,” not only would 72 percent of pre-retirees aged 45 and older retire within the next five years if they could, but 25 percent of them say it’s because work has a negative impact on their mental and/or physical health. 37 percent of them say they can’t retire when they want to, with 77 percent chalking that up to a lack of retirement savings.

But that’s not all. Seventy-six percent of pre-retirees say that poor health will make saving for retirement tougher, which is probably not too surprising, considering that 67 percent of preretirees can’t predict how much they might be likely to spend on health care during retirement. 61 percent said a partner falling ill would make saving for retirement more difficult.

That may not reflect how things actually work out, though. Among people who have already retired, just 18 percent said that poor health made saving for retirement more difficult, while 11 percent said that a partner falling ill made it harder to save.

Among pre-retirees, 38 percent are worried about their financial well-being should their health fail during retirement — but among the 50 percent of working-age people who have either needed full-time care themselves or known someone who has, 44 percent are concerned about their financial well-being once they retire.

Working-age people, the report said, actually expect many aspects of their lives to improve in retirement, although there’s that specter of ill health in the room. Among retirees surveyed for the report, 16 percent reported that their standard of living has actually gotten worse. That could come as a dash of cold water to the 29 percent of pre-retirees who expect that their standard of living will improve once they retire.

Twenty-six percent of pre-retirees expect that their overall health will improve once they retire, while 30 percent are pessimistic and expect that it will deteriorate. Among retirees, 21 percent said their health has improved in retirement, while 36 percent said it got worse.

Interestingly, men were far more likely to have deteriorating health during retirement, at 43 percent, while among women, 27 percent said they were less healthy overall.

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