Americans Still Plan to Pay off Mortgages Pre-Retirement

Running out of money is the No. 1 retirement concern for nearly a third of Americans with nearly half saying they will continue to work if unable to retire as planned. Other concerns that top the list include healthcare expenses and changes to Social Security that could reduce or delay benefits, says a study of adult Americans released in late November and conducted by Franklin Templeton Investments.

Of respondents to Franklin Templeton’s Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey, 60% of those in the 18- to 44-year old group said that paying off their mortgage is a goal by the time they reach retirement.

“What the survey brings into focus is that Americans have differing views on expectations, timeframes and concerns surrounding retirement, especially among various age groups,” said David McSpadden, senior vice president of Global Advisory Services for Franklin Templeton Investments. “For example, when asked where most of their retirement income will come from, the top choice for those ages 18 to 44 was a 401(k) or other individually funded workplace plan. For those 45 and over, it was Social Security. This indicates that younger individuals increasingly realize the need to take control of their retirement income needs.”

Younger adults are beginning to realize the need for independent retirement savings, the survey found, yet fewer than a quarter of adults in the 35- to 44-year-old group say they work with a financial advisor.

For Americans of traditional retirement age, medical expenses and Social Security changes were the top concerns, while for the younger agre groups managing retirement income to meet expenses was higher priority, the study found.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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