Merrill's Cimini to Moneynews: Healthcare Should Be Retirees' Biggest Worry

Monday, 13 May 2013 08:32 AM

By Glenn J. Kalinoski and David Nelson

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There's no shortage of concerns for people entering retirement, according to Jeff Cimini, the head of retirement for Merrill Lynch.

"Their primary concern heading into retirement is how to deal with health," Cimini told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

Those leaving the workforce are also focused on making sure they don’t outlive their income, he said. Also receiving consideration were the social aspects of retirement, including friendships and the relationships they had.

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"Keep in mind these are the boomers," he said.

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"They have gone through a decade of volatility and difficult returns. They are entering into retirement at about 15,000 per day in the boomer generation," he said.

"They are very much focused on making sure that they can have the retirement that they are looking for, not necessarily getting an extra few basis points overturned by taking additional risk."

While citing a Merrill Lynch study, Cimini also commented on the fact that many retirees want to remain active.

"Most folks wanted to do something in retirement," he said. "I think our respondents had part-time work or [were] in and out of work. About ¾ of them wanted to continue with some form of work and retirement." When asked if it was because of income, their answers were generally "no."

"While the income was nice, it was generally to keep active, to do something different, to embark on a second career, and to do some things that had been on the back burner or things that they hadn’t gotten to before, or even to follow up on a passion that they had around a charitable cause."

And while experts like Cimini are urging aging America about the need for healthcare in their golden years, a recent poll found few are listening to such warnings.

A poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed Americans underestimate their chances of needing long-term care as they age. Older Americans are taking few steps to get ready, the poll found. The poll examined how people 40 and over are preparing healthcare as they get older – the poll found two-thirds say they've done little to no planning, the AP reported.

Only a quarter predict it's very likely that they will need help getting around or caring for themselves during their senior years, according to the poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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