Confidence in retirement security is shaky with only 36% of baby boomers saying they have enough assets to live comfortably in retirement, according to a new study.

The Insured Retirement Institute’s second annual survey found that lack of confidence was even higher among the single and middle-income with three out of four single and 70% of middle-income boomers being not confident about funding a comfortable retirement.

“There was this tremendous downturn in the stock market in 2008, and here we are four years later but confidence has not been restored,” says IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford. “There’s lots of opportunity for insurers to solve the things that seniors are worried about.”

An estimated 42% of boomers indicate that a defined benefit plan will not be an income source in retirement compared to 36% in a similar study in 2011.

As the use of defined-benefit plans declines, the role of personal investments will need to increase in prominence in the near future. About 26% see personal investments as a major source of retirement income compared to 19% who see employment during retirement as a major source of retirement income. In the study, personal investments are defined as CDs, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, stock options and annuities but not investments in a work-related retirement plan or IRA.

“Annuities are the types of insurance product that provide a guaranteed rate of return, deployed into lifelong income. Guaranteed lifetime income is the certainty that seniors are looking for,” says Weatherford. “We’re seeing more innovative products where annuities are being used to finance long-term care costs as an alternative to long-term care insurance. These annuities have a long-term care rider or they are deployed for funding health care costs in retirement.”

For 64% of boomers, employment during retirement will be a source of income, and nearly a quarter do not expect to retire until at least age 70.

“If they are behind or been on the sideline, working longer gives them an opportunity to build up a nest egg,” said Weatherford. “It’s about getting to the boomer and working with them to build a holistic plan through the traditional advertising channels and new methods, such as social media.”

Juliette Fairley writes for Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.

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