Merrill Lynch and Age Wave (Ken Dychtwald’s Consultant Organization) released a survey in 2013 entitled “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room.” That survey which was based on a nationally representative sample of 5,400 respondents found that families are increasingly interdependent i.e. your retirement income may be challenged by the financial needs of adult children, aging parents, and even your siblings. The survey found:
- Retirement is a Family Affair. Parenting is forever and many retirees may still be caring for their own parents. Either or both of these generations may need financial support.
- Sixty-two percent of people 50 and older provide financial support to their children, grandchildren, parents, and/or siblings. These financial commitments will impact their own retirement plans.
- Many families are blended ones. Forty percent of people fifty and older are part of a blended family (stepchildren, stepsiblings etc.) which have unique financial challenges
- Gray Marriage/Divorce. Divorce rates remain high for the 50+ population. Divorce and remarriage further will further challenge a retirement income
- Older adults prefer to be givers rather than takers. However, many older adults do not plan sufficiently for their own financial needs
- Older adults tend to be secretive about their finances. Too many retirees wait to have a family discussion about finances when a life-altering event occurs i.e.death or serious illness. Neither event lends itself well to thoughtful financial planning.
For further details about this survey please visit www.ml.com/retirementstudy.