Maybe a retirement is like a bottle of wine: Not only does it improve with time, but it's best when consumed and shared with others.
A majority of retirees are not only highly confident in their planning, but they’re also satisfied with their lifestyle since leaving the workforce, according to new research from TIAA’s Voices of Experience Survey.
In a survey of more than 1,500 retirees from last year, TIAA found that most Americans achieve a financial serenity when they retire that is noticeably absent while they are still working.
The 2016 Voices of Experience survey is a follow-up to the original 1982 Voices of Experience study by TIAA-CREF. For the new iteration of the study, TIAA sponsored a survey of 1,583 retirees between May and August 2015 and has been releasing results and insights from the survey throughout 2016.
Overall, 86 percent of the survey’s respondents were satisfied with their financial health in retirement, and 54 percent reported not having to make any lifestyle adjustments to reduce the cost of their retirement. Another 20 percent reported only making small changes—like buying fewer clothes or eating out less frequently—to make ends meet.
Almost all of the respondents, 82 percent, said they were satisfied with their retirement preparations, and 90 percent said they were satisfied with their emotional health as well.
Men tended to be more financially secure in retirement than women. More than half of the men in the survey, 58 percent, said they were “very satisfied” with their financial health in retirement, versus 46 percent of the women. Men, at 77 percent, were also more likely to report an easy transition into retirement than women, at 69 percent.
Advisors have grown a profession around acknowledging the financial implications of retirement—but that might not be enough to prepare their clients. Preparing clients for an emotional transition from their career is just as crucial for retirement success as a plan for saving, investing and spending down their assets, according to TIAA.
The majority of respondents who had an easy transition into retirement, 85 percent, said they had a similar outlook on retirement as their partner. A little more than half of those who did not have an easy retirement transition, 53 percent, said that they and their partners had similar outlooks.
“Like any major life change, retirement can have a significant impact on relationships. Our research shows that taking the time and care to plan for this transition—both emotionally and financially—helps to set up retirement success,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO at TIAA, in a statement. “For couples, going through the planning process hand in hand helps both partners more easily adapt to retirement.”
Though a prevalent stereotype casts retirement as a burden on marriages and partnerships, 95 percent of TIAA’s respondents said that ties with their spouse or partner stayed the same or improved after retirement.