This summer (June 2017), the Sixth Annual AEGON Retirement Readiness Survey was released. The study took a look at the correlation between good health and being financially ready to retire. Those with good health and a positive attitude were more likely to save and plan for retirement than their counterparts with poor health and a poor attitude regarding retirement. Individuals in the study who reported eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly scored higher on the index used in the study, and as having taken steps to save for retirement. Those that didn’t eat healthy and exercise regularly scored lower in the study and many reported they were not saving for retirement. This study further suggests that individuals who regularly miss work due to health issues, can reverse retirement readiness outcomes by taking steps to improve their health and attitude, which leads to saving and planning for retirement.
The study references those who are healthy (eat healthy, exercise regularly, limit harmful activities such as drinking and smoking) as being ‘retirement strategists’ since this group is more likely to have a written plan for retirement that they follow. In addition to healthy habits, they are habitual savers too!
In the 15 countries represented in the survey, all participants viewed retirement income as coming from four sources; employer and employee contribution sources, government sources, personal savings, and continuation of employment in retirement at least part time. Twenty years ago, most people in similar surveys did not include the fourth source of retirement income and viewed retirement as not working at all. There is a direct correlation between good health and being able to retire and continue working part time. As people age and the cost of living increases, it will be important to have enough financial resources to retire, and health can make the difference when it comes to saving and being able to work part time if one chooses.