Jul 26, 2023 - News

Some Oregonians are adjusting their lifestyles to retire

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

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Some Oregonians feel prepared for retirement, with a little lifestyle adjustment, while others feel uncertain about their financial future.

Why it matters: Fewer workers have access to reliable pensions, Axios' Felix Salmon reports. Most Americans retiring now are the first generation in recent history to instead rely primarily on private savings to navigate the financial vortex once they age out of work.

Driving the news: Many Americans who haven't yet retired say they are unprepared to do so and unsure how to prepare or if they even want to fully exit the workforce, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

  • One in five say they don't think they ever will.
  • Just 36% of people 55 and older say they'll be able to retire at the time they expected.

By the numbers: 30% of people still in the workforce plan to use a pension, compared with 54% of retirees who say they're using pension money.

  • David John, a senior policy adviser at AARP, tells Axios that roughly half of workers aren't offered retirement plans from their employers.

Zoom in: Most Oregon-based retirees who responded to our recent survey said they feel they have enough money to sustain their pre-retirement lifestyle, but some also had worries related to the fluctuating stock market and future health care needs.

  • Liz F. in Portland said she's nervous about having stable income from her 401(k) due to the current economy.
  • "What worries me even more is health insurance until I turn 65," she said. "It is very expensive and there is always the fear of politicians getting rid of the [Affordable Care Act]."

Meanwhile, others have adjusted their lifestyles to match available income, knowing there will be a drop throughout the years.

  • "We will likely be comfortable in our retirement, but our children will likely not enjoy a substantial transfer of wealth," Rich P. said.
  • "Despite the downturn in the market, I still have enough money for retirement, just not as much," Dave N., who lives in Bend, said. "I won't be wintering in Hawaii, but I will visit from time to time."

Be smart: According to a recent AARP Oregon survey, just 31% of Oregonians age 45 and older have a clear budget written out for their retirement and one in five have considered moving out of Oregon to somewhere with a lower cost of living.

  • Stacy Larsen, a spokesperson for AARP Oregon, said those without an employer-based retirement plan can sign up for OregonSaves, an individual retirement account (IRA) that moves with you from job to job.

Of note: There are plenty of ways to find the best financial adviser and avoid scams, like AARP's online tool to screen financial advisers, its Fraud Watch Network and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's resources on avoiding investment scams.


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