Gen X, Y and Z investors may be years from retirement but they already have multiple concerns about their future finances.
In a Harris Interactive online survey for T. Rowe Price, seven different worries were reported by over half the respondents. Leading the list: health care costs, cited 76% of these investors. Other reasons for future anxiety were rising taxes (67%), viability of Social Security (63%), inflation (61%), long-term care (58%), running short of money because of longevity (52%), and housing values (52%).
This litany indicates that Gen X, Y, and Z are concerned about cash flow once they start working. Rising taxes might take a bite; any cuts in Medicare may shift costs to patients in the future. What’s more, survey respondents were skeptical about the Social Security benefits they’ll be able to receive.
Sixteen percent of investors expect to receive full Social Security benefits, as currently promised. While many respondents (48%) expect to receive reduced benefits when they retire, another large segment of those polled (36%) expect to receive no Social Security benefits at all.
Of the survey respondents anticipating reduced or no Social Security benefits, 42% said they are saving more, 11% said they are investing more aggressively, and 29% are planning to work longer. “Investors are concerned about rising health care costs, and they should be,” Stuart Ritter, senior financial planner with T. Rowe Price, said in a statement. “According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, health care costs are the second-biggest expense for those aged 65 and older, behind housing, and it’s the only spending category that steadily increases with age.”
To raise the necessary cash, working longer may or may not be an option but saving and investing more is often indicated. “One of the perennial lessons younger investors can learn from current retirees is to save at least 15% of their earnings and begin as early as possible,” Ritter stated. “The ones who do are the ones more likely to enjoy the retirement flexibility and lifestyle that financial independence can provide.”