Post-retirement plans: 7 in 10 employees say they may continue to work in retirement

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Nearly seven in 10 still-working investors say they may work after they retire, including 44% who believe that they will have to work out of necessity, according to Nationwide’s eighth annual Advisor Authority survey.

The survey, which was powered by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, revealed a host of insights about post-retirement plans for today’s investors. For instance, 40% of non-retired investors plan to move to a different city or region after retiring. The most common reasons for the planned move are lower cost of living (43%) and lower taxes (34%), showing the extent that economics are driving decision-making.

Rona Guymon, senior vice president of distribution for Nationwide Annuity, said the picture of life after retirement is evolving in today’s volatile market, and that is leading many investors to revisit their priorities and “best-laid plans.”

“Market volatility and economic uncertainty define the ‘new normal’ for today’s investors,” Guymon said. “Despite an abundance of new tools and technologies, there is no real substitute for a qualified advisor or financial professional who can anticipate future challenges and tailor portfolios to specific needs. Educating investors about the potential impacts of inflation and rising interest rates can set the groundwork for decisions based on facts, not fear. Reminding clients that market fluctuations are normal, their financial plan is for the long term, and it is common to stay invested to build wealth are all tactics advisors and financial professionals can use to guide clients toward a successful retirement in today’s climate.”

Of the advisors surveyed for the report, 78% said that their clients will or may continue working after retirement – slightly more than the 69% of non-retired investors who said they believed work might be part of their retirement experience. Although 44% of those investors thinking they will work after retirement said it would be out of necessity, the most frequently cited reason for working was staying physically and mentally active (60%). And 41% cited the desire to preserve a sense of purpose through their employment as a key reason for continuing to work.

Guymon said advisors can help their clients zero in on their goals for retirement and align their planning with those expectations.

“Utilizing financial planning software is a key component to aligning financial goals to outcomes,” Guymon said. “Those financial plans can often illuminate the need for protected lifetime income. Despite the economic turbulence of recent years, less than a quarter (24%) of all investors preparing for retirement say they currently have enough guaranteed income in their retirement portfolio to weather a recession. Advisors and financial professionals can boost client confidence by helping them understand the value of protection solutions, like annuities, and the benefits they can provide within their financial plan to provide the retirement outcomes they seek, whether that’s guaranteeing income in retirement or guarding against market volatility.”

The survey found that 49% of non-retired investors with a financial advisor said they were “very nervous” about spending down their retirement savings in the current market. That compares to 32% of investors who do not have an advisor, meaning that investors without an advisor are feeling more confident than those who do have one. Guymon pointed to some go-to strategies crucial for helping investors plan for retirement in this environment.

“Advisors and financial professionals can address client anxiety and illuminate blind spots among self-guided investors by helping clients and prospects understand the value of protection solutions, like annuities, that can guarantee income in retirement, provide guaranteed growth and guard against market volatility,” Guymon said. “They are also using diversification and non-correlated assets, moving cash to the sidelines for future buying opportunities and hedging strategies to protect client assets against market risk.”

Guymon said it is a key moment for advisors to help their clients contend with the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

“As we head into 2023, many unknowns await, leading clients to become more fearful about their ability to retire,” Guymon said. “While we cannot predict what comes next, there is no time like the present for advisors and financial professionals to educate clients and prospects, reinforce the importance of sticking to plans, and demonstrate the value of incorporating protected retirement solutions into portfolios to help manage today’s risks and make plans for tomorrow’s financial needs.”