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Retirement and Medical Costs Top List of American's Financial Concerns

When contemplating retirement, many New Jersey residents likely look forward to traveling, playing golf and spending winters in a more temperate climate. Retirement has long been considered a time when, after years spent working, individuals are finally able to relax and take time to enjoy their golden years. However, for a growing number of Americans the financial security previously enjoyed by retirees of past generations appears to be less certain or attainable.

When contemplating retirement, many New Jersey residents likely look forward to traveling, playing golf and spending winters in a more temperate climate. Retirement has long been considered a time when, after years spent working, individuals are finally able to relax and take time to enjoy their golden years. However, for a growing number of Americans the financial security previously enjoyed by retirees of past generations appears to be less certain or attainable.

The most recent Gallup Annual Economy and Personal Finance poll of 1,026 U.S. adults reveals that the top financial concerns of Americans are largely a reflection of past political and economic failures.

Nearly 60 percent of poll respondents identified fears related to financial security during retirement as their top concern. Following at a close second, 53 percent of poll respondents listed having anxiety over rising health care costs and whether they will be able to afford such costs if faced with a medical emergency. General fears related to an inability to pay off debts were also cited by 40 percent of respondents as a major concern.

Given that an estimated 57 million Americans between the ages 18 to 64 don't even have access to retirement savings plans, it's not surprising that many have doubts when it comes to being able to afford retirement. Additionally, even those Americans who do have retirement savings plans only carry an average balance of $3,000 per household.

For a large percentage of working Americans, every dollar earned must go towards attempting to repay debts associated with unemployment, underemployment, medical costs and credit cards. As a result, millions of working adults currently struggle to survive and will continue to do so for years.

Today, Americans are living longer which means assets that previously funded 10 to 15 years of retirement must now be stretched to 20 or more years. For those individuals whose financial resources are being swallowed up by attempts to repay debt, bankruptcy can discharge debts and allow an individual to reclaim financial control and take steps to ensure their retirement years are indeed golden.

Source: Moneynews.com, "Gallup Poll: Retirement Savings Are America's Nightmare," John Morgan, April 24, 2014

Gallup Economy, "Retirement Remains Americans' Top Financial Worry," Andrew Dugan, April 22, 2014

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