Aug 2, 2023 - News
Retiring in America

Inflation, stock market create anxiety for Minnesota retirees

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll. Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and big stock market swings in recent years have Minnesota retirees and those nearing retirement on edge.

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

  • 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 at the time they expected.

Why it matters: Most of us want our latter years to be golden, but attaining a secure retirement is not easy.

Zoom in: More than 60 Axios Twin Cities readers weighed in on the subject when we released a survey this spring.

What they're saying: Pat L., 67, said she's a "member of a new group called the working (full-time) retired. I could retire, but feel cautious (as) to what the future holds."

Margaret K. retired last year at age 67, feeling like she and her husband were in good shape with pensions, Social Security, savings, and no mortgage payment.

  • "As soon as I retired, the stock market took a hit and inflation started ramping up," she said. "Living within the monthly inflow, which pre-retirement I thought was possible, now is more difficult."

Debra E. retired two years ago, but now at 69, she's considering going back to work because of stock market losses and rising prices.

Of note: Since the survey came out in early May, the stock market has rebounded. The S&P 500 is up about 11% since May 3. Inflation has also started to cool, especially in the Twin Cities.

By the numbers: 30% 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.

  • Brent B. is one of those with a pension. He retired last year at 58; his wife is planning to retire this year.
  • "We were both teachers for 35-plus years and paid into our TRA (teacher pension) since day one. Now is the time to benefit from that disciplined savings," he said, adding that he expects their "monthly income to surpass what it was during our working days" thanks to their pensions, personal investments, and being close to paying off their house.

The big picture: Retirement may seem out of reach, but it remains a goal for most Americans, and those who have retired say they're content. Sixty-eight of retirees agree that they feel better than ever now that they've retired, according to the Axios-Ipsos poll.

Jennie T. retired six years ago and is now 71.

  • "We were fortunate that I had a good-paying career, but the secret to our comfortable retirement is that we always have lived below our means, saved, and invested," she said.

The bottom line: Anxieties aside, Donna H., 75, reminded us that retirement is called the golden years for a reason. She and her husband went on a three-week European river cruise this summer.


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