Will the Financial Fragility of Retirees Increase?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Retirees have long been seen as financially fragile – that is, ill-equipped to handle a financial shock without severe hardship.
  • Interestingly, the research suggests that the vast majority of current retirees can weather shocks such as high medical bills and widowhood.
  • Future retirees, however, face greater risk as most people are not saving enough and it is hard to manage a nest egg.
  • The best responses are to reduce fixed expenses (e.g., downsize) and draw more income from assets (e.g., buy an annuity).