Not knowing what your retirement plan consists of will increase your stress in the years leading up to retirement, according to the Franklin Templeton 2015 “Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations” survey.

Stress about retirement savings and investments is high: 67 percent of Americans experience some level of stress, according to the survey of 2,002 American adults. Stress levels peak within 15 years of retirement, with 76 percent reporting stress.

Some 27 percent say that their top concern is running out of money in retirement. Health and medical issues were also named a top concern by 27 percent. Survey respondents age 25 to 34 years old are most worried about running out of money (36 percent named it as a top concern), while older respondents aged 65 to 74 are most concerned about health and medical issues (52 percent named it as a top concern).

The survey findings show that stress is also tied to how much a person understands his or her retirement plan. Eighty-six percent of those who don’t understand it are more likely to feel stress, while 66 percent of those who do understand it are likely to feel stress.

Social Security appears to be a significant part of the confusion. People do not know how much of their income will be replaced by Social Security or when they should start taking benefits. More than half of retirees surveyed (59 percent) took it before their full retirement age rather than letting the benefits grow.

The survey found that while Americans are reasonably good at estimating their expenses at retirement, they tend to underestimate the impact of inflation later in retirement. Many expect their expenses to remain flat throughout.

Younger investors are concerned about the ability of the market to generate good long-term returns on their investments, says Ed Perks, CIO of Franklin Equity Group and portfolio manager of the Franklin Income Fund.

"I would encourage investors to focus on the long term and tune out the noise generated by day-to-day market moves,” he says. “I’d also remind investors that, although the low interest rate environment makes the search for attractive yield somewhat challenging, we continue to find attractive opportunities through a disciplined investment approach, focused on fundamental research.”

The survey also shows that retirement no longer means a person stops working. Fifty-five percent of people are considering working in retirement and 30 percent of those aged 18 to 24 never plan to retire.

“Conventional thinking and attitudes about what it means to retire are changing,” says Michael Doshier, the vice president of retirement marketing for Franklin Templeton Investments. “By taking action now -- via saving and planning for retirement -- individuals can help ensure that they're able to embrace this next phase of life. They can also reduce the stress increasingly associated with not having enough money to retire.”

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