Aug 22, 2023 - News

Louisiana retirees worry about inflation and health care costs

Illustration of a nervous piggy bank with a sweat drop on its face.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Retirement plans for many Americans are complicated by financial worries and uncertainty if they ever want to fully retire, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

Why it matters: Millions of people nearing retirement age are financially unprepared.

  • About half of people between 55 and 66 have no personal savings, according to Census Bureau data.

The big picture: Many who haven't yet retired say they are unsure how to plan for it.

  • One in five say they don't think they will ever retire.
  • Just 36% of those 55 and older — nearing typical retirement age — say they'll be able to retire when they expected.
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Retiring in Louisiana

Here's what y'all said when we asked about your retirement plans.

The big picture: The responses across Louisiana highlighted anxiety about inflation, plus concerns about health care costs and other variables that might come up.

Zoom in: Bill H. in Baton Rouge retired three years ago and is living on a 401(k) and IRA.

  • "The uncertainty of everyday expenses makes life impossible to plan for," he said in our national survey.

What they're saying: "I'm reluctant to overspend given the current economic climate and the possibility of the need for long term care," says reader Harry P. from New Orleans, who lives on Social Security plus money from federal retirement and other investments.

Meanwhile, Richard B. of New Orleans says he and his wife are "very fortunate" to have several sources of income, including three pensions.

Yes, but: Fewer retirees will be relying on pensions in the coming years. Thirty percent of people still in the workforce plan to use a pension to help fund their future retirement, compared with 54% of retirees who say they're using pension money.

  • On top of that, "roughly half the workforce, we're talking 50-plus million people, work for an employer that doesn't offer a retirement plan," David John, a senior policy adviser at AARP, tells Axios. That could mean a small business or gig work.

The bottom line: Retirement may seem out of reach, but it remains a goal for most Americans, and those who have retired say they're content: 68% of retirees agree that they feel better than ever now that they've retired.


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