Merrill Lynch Study Explores Impact of Health on Retirement

Poor health can ruin your wealth

Merrill Lynch, in partnership with Age Wave, released a study focusing on health in retirement. Many retirees say the key to a happy retirement is being healthy. Poor health can mean significant retirement challenges, so staying in top condition is important.

The study, Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown, explored several areas of concern in retirement. Topics of exploration included the impact of health and health care costs on quality of life during retirement, and how longevity is requiring pre-retirees to more closely examine how their health might impact their wealth.

Key insights from the Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study:

  • Retirees view health as the most important ingredient to a happy retirement, but also the greatest financial concern.
  • Most have not factored health care costs into their retirement planning, and most couples age 50 and over have not discussed how much money they may need to finance their healthcare during retirement.
  • Most retirees were forced to retire earlier than expected. The top reason for early retirement was a health problem.

Survey respondents of all ages said Alzheimer’s was a health condition of later life that scared them most. They feared this disease even more than cancer, strokes, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis combined.

For more retirement coverage, see The New Playbook for Retirement in the October issue of Black Enterprise.

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