Health Costs Top List of Concerns for Americans Planning Retirement, New Poll Finds

Source: Kiplinger – Personal Capital Poll, November 2018. *Among those with a long-term financial plan.

WASHINGTON--()--Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans are confident they have saved enough -- or will save enough -- to retire comfortably, yet this confidence is tempered by worries over health care costs. In fact, the high cost of care is the top reason many aren’t saving as much as they would like to now, and it tops the list of future worries.

These conclusions are among the major findings of a new nationwide poll released today by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and leading hybrid digital wealth management company Personal Capital.

“Health costs represent a growing concern among aging Americans—which is why it’s crucial to begin saving for retirement well in advance,” said Mark Solheim, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “Saving as much as possible today ensures a comfortable and secure retirement tomorrow. Our poll shows a promising trend: By and large, Americans are prioritizing retirement planning. Most are stashing a respectable chunk of their income in savings, and nearly three-fourths have a long-term financial plan.”

Surprisingly, the poll also finds that younger Americans are more actively preparing for retirement than those over 50. For example, they are more likely to contribute the maximum to their workplace retirement plan and are more likely to have a health savings account. They are also more open to alternative ways to fund retirement, such as purchasing an annuity, applying for a reverse mortgage, or relocating in retirement.

“It’s encouraging to see so many Americans prioritizing retirement savings and working with a professional to build long-term financial plans,” said Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital. “Yet, fewer than 50 percent of those polled said they also had a withdrawal plan - a critical and often overlooked part of planning for retirement. We recently added a new tool to our digital Retirement Planner that gives people more clarity around which accounts to withdraw from and when in order to confidently maximize retirement income.”

The poll, conducted in November 2018, surveyed investors between the ages of 35 and 64, equally divided between men and women, who had made at least one investment transaction in the past year. Excerpts from the poll will appear in the February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, with more results at

Among the findings:

  • Financial confidence: 39% are somewhat confident that they have saved or will save enough to retire comfortably; 26% are very confident.
  • Primary concerns: Nearly a quarter (22%) are worried about high health care costs in retirement, while 18% are worried about not having enough money to live comfortably, followed by running out of money altogether (16%).
  • Work expectations: 85% of those under 50—and 67% of those over 50—expect to work full time as long as possible before retiring.
  • Social Security: More than half (54%) of Americans are confident that Social Security will provide the income they expect.
  • Average savings: On average, Americans have saved $327,090 for retirement. They are currently saving 13.3% of their annual income for retirement.
  • Retirement living: 72% with a mortgage expect to pay it off by retirement.
  • Gender differences: Men think they will need a $985,920 nest egg at retirement, while women say they need $828,360.
  • Financial preparation: A majority (61%) of those with a long-term financial plan are working with a financial planner.
  • Relocating: 34% are considering relocating during retirement – the top four reasons being:
    • Lower taxes
    • Lower cost of living
    • Warmer climate
    • To be near family

About Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the company developed one of the nation's first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created the nation's first personal finance magazine. Located in the heart of our nation's capital, the Kiplinger editors remain dedicated to delivering sound, unbiased advice for your family and your business in clear, concise language. Become a fan of Kiplinger on Facebook or and follow Kiplinger on Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.

About Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a hybrid digital wealth management company that offers free financial planning tools for investors and fee-based wealth management services. Personal Capital is headquartered in Silicon Valley with hubs in San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Atlanta. Connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook. For more information and to open an account, visit


Kailey McGarvey


Kailey McGarvey