Four in 10 Nurses Surveyed Believe Full Retirement Now Unattainable

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Data from a survey commissioned by Fidelity Investments show nearly eight in 10 nurses (79 percent) feel secure about their jobs and their financial future, but more than seven in ten (71 percent) feel they are not saving enough for retirement.

The latter statistic has risen significantly since a 2007 survey commissioned by Fidelity, in which 57 percent of nurses felt they were not saving enough.

The current study of nurses employed in the U.S. was conducted by an independent research firm for Fidelity. It was designed to provide insight into how the economy and healthcare industry changes have impacted nurses’ perspectives on their profession and retirement.

Nearly half of the nurses surveyed (49 percent) report their retirement plans have changed because of the economy and ongoing market volatility. In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) now plan to retire later than they had originally expected, and almost one-quarter (22 percent) plan to work once retired from the caring profession when they had not previously planned to do so.

In addition, 42 percent of the nurses surveyed believe they will now never fully retire.

When asked why they will work in retirement, nearly eight in ten (79 percent) say they will do so because they will need the income to meet basic living expenses – a significant increase over the 65 percent of nurses who said so in 2007.

More nurses also expect to struggle or just make ends meet in retirement compared to 2007 (28 percent versus 18 percent).

Despite having to change their retirement plans, nearly half of nurses still believe they are better prepared for retirement, both emotionally (47 percent) and financially (45 percent), than workers in other professions.

The study also showed more than half (54 percent) of nurses “love their jobs and can’t imagine giving them up, even in retirement,” reflecting their commitment to their profession and patient care, despite working in an industry that continues to experience significant change.

Although nurses express concerns about retirement and their industry, they continue to save for the future. For example, more than eight in 10 nurses (81 percent) report participating in their workplace savings plan and those who participate say they are saving an average of 9 percent of their annual salary.

Despite this high rate of savings, more than half (54 percent) of nurses say they find retirement planning to be overwhelming and wish they could get some help.

When asked about resources they use to learn about and manage their workplace retirement plans, more than four in 10 (43 percent) say they rely on guidance from a financial professional. One-third (33 percent) also rely on educational materials provided by their employer and nearly one-third (31 percent) rely on online planning tools and calculators.

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