2014 EBRI Retirement Survey Indicates Seniors Struggling With Debt

ebri retirement surveyThe Great Recession is over, but many are still feeling the pain as they recover financially. At-risk groups such as the growing senior population are especially vulnerable. Many retirees were forced into early retirement in recent years and feel financially unprepared to face retirement.

Others simply do not have the retirement savings they require to make ends meet for the duration of their retirement. The 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute1 shows that Americans are feeling slightly more confident about retirement savings than the previous year.

The percentage of workers who are very confident about having enough savings for retirement reached record lows between 2009 and 2013. Positive aspects of the 2014 survey show that the amount of workers who are very confident has increased from 13 percent in the 2013 survey to 18 percent this year. However, nearly one quarter of those surveyed were not at all confident they had saved enough for a comfortable retirement.

It is needless to say a large portion of workers are woefully unprepared for retirement. Over one-third of those surveyed claimed to have less than $1000 in savings or investments. Those with lower incomes of $35,000 or less per year are the most likely to have less than $1,000 in savings. The workers surveyed cite day basic cost-of-living expenses as the top reasons why they have not been able to save more.

Another cause for concern is the growing level of debt Americans have accrued. 58 percent of workers and 44 percent of retirees claim they are struggling with debt. 24 percent of workers and 17 percent of retirees claim their amount of debt is higher today than it was five years ago.

Because debt is a concern for so many Americans and many soon-to-be retired workers are facing the stark reality that they simply do not have enough saved to retire, retirement expectations are slowly changing. More than 80 percent of workers surveyed claim their expected retirement age would increase.

Retirement should be a time to relax, spend time with loved ones, travel or invest time in hobbies. There is still a large group who are either postponing retirement or scrimping to make ends meet. If you or someone you know falls into this group, there may be another option to alleviate some of that financial stress.

A reverse mortgage loan is available for homeowners who are 62 years old and older who have significant equity in their homes. A reverse mortgage loan allows homeowners to tap into the equity in their home as a supplemental form of income.

The funds from a reverse mortgage loan can be used however the homeowner chooses. Many borrowers will make modifications to their home to make the space more accessible. Others are able to take a dream vacation or invest in a hobby. Whatever your retirement goals, a reverse mortgage loan may be able to help. Use our reverse mortgage calculator to see if you may qualify.