2017 Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey Links Healthy Lifestyle and Financial Habits with Retirement Success

NEW YORK (June 6, 2017) – The Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement (ACLR) today launched its sixth Annual Retirement Readiness Survey at the OECD Forum in Paris. The report, Successful Retirement – Healthy Aging and Financial Security, finds that both good financial habits and a healthy lifestyle are critical components of preparing for a successful retirement. ACLR, over its six surveys, has a data base of 86,000 across 15 countries on all continents.

“We know from the ACLR research that over half of the workers report they want to work longer and differently, which tells us the megatrend of the aging of society is beginning to have huge impact on 21st century life. This question remains: Are institutions of society, including employers, ready to deal with these transformative changes?” said Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition of Aging (GCOA).

“Workers who engage in multiple healthy activities, like exercising regularly or eating a healthy diet, are more prepared for retirement than those who do not,” said Mike Mansfield, Manager of Retirement Research. Aegon is a founding member of the GCOA. “Finding ways to develop good savings habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle from an early age are key factors for a successful retirement.”

Other key findings from the 2017 Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey include:

  • Globally, only 39% of workers describe themselves as habitual savers. About a quarter are occasional savers, 19% are aspiring savers, 12% are past savers and 6% are non-savers.
  • Only 14% of workers have a written plan for retirement. This group is significantly more likely to turn their good intentions into actions. A full 74% say they are always saving for retirement, which is well above those with an unwritten plan (48%) or those with no plan at all (19%).
  • 68% of people describe their health as “good” or “excellent,” and 82% of people say their health in older age is a concern. Yet, only 43% say they think about long-term health when making lifestyle choices.
  • 57% of workers envision continuing some form of work in retirement, but 39% of retirees retired sooner than planned, with 29% of them doing so due to ill-health.
  • 91% of workers say they would be interested in at least one health- and wellness-related offering by their employer (e.g., healthy food at the office, gym discounts or preventative screenings and vaccinations).
  • The most widely held retirement aspiration is traveling (62%), demonstrating the changing perceptions of this phase of life from leisure to social connection and activity.

“This latest report from the ACLR sheds important light on the role of healthy lifestyles and planning in ensuring a healthy retirement, and, critically, the disconnect between our intentions and actions” said Hodin. “These findings hold important insights for individuals, employers, retirement specialists and policymakers alike about how to help ensure that more of us are prepared to enjoy a successful retirement in line with our goals.”

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