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More Than Half of Americans Want to Live to 100 but Worry about Affording Longer Lifespans

As more people are living into their 80s and 90s, more than one out of…

  • May 1, 2019

As more people are living into their 80s and 90s, more than one out of every two Americans has their sights set on even greater longevity.

According to a survey released today by AIG Life & Retirement, a surprising 53 percent say their goal is to live to 100 years.

Thirty-nine percent identify deeper family relationships as the main benefit of such a long life, 32 percent name seeing the world change and 17 percent want to remain productive.

Longer Lives Come with an Array of Concerns

This optimism for aging—fueled in part by medical advances and healthier lifestyles—is tempered by the financial challenges individuals may face in a retirement that could stretch 40 years or more:

  • More than half (51 percent) of respondents are uncertain their current retirement savings plan would financially provide for a 100-year lifespan
  • Less than one in 10 (9 percent) are extremely confident they will have enough income throughout their retirement
  • Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) fear running out of money more than they fear death

When asked to pinpoint their greatest concern about living to 100, the potential for serious health conditions (35 percent) topped the list, followed by burdening their family (27 percent) and running out of the money needed to live comfortably in retirement (25 percent).

When considering financial concerns, generating lasting retirement income (23 percent) and the rising cost of healthcare (23 percent) tied as the most significant financial challenge Americans said they would face when planning for retirement.

These challenges were followed by concerns about Social Security and Medicare (19 percent) and stock market volatility (19 percent).

Furthermore, with recent market volatility and December’s nearly ten percent stock market drop still fresh in consumers’ minds, 86 percent of Americans confess to anxiety about funding their retirement lifestyle through their retirement account investments, which typically include stock market exposure, as opposed to a guaranteed source of income.

While financing a long life is a concern for all, the burden weighs more heavily on the shoulders of female respondents—especially since they have longer projected life expectancies than men.

Women are significantly more anxious than men about funding their retirement lifestyle through their retirement account investments versus a guaranteed source of income (60 percent of women are somewhat or very anxious, compared to 47 percent of men).

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