More than half (58 per cent) of U.S. employees say outliving their assets is their greatest fear in retirement, according to a new survey by Cerulli Associates.

While the percentage is even higher for near-retiree and retiree generations (generation X and baby boomers), longevity risk is the greatest concern across all generations. As a result, some respondents said they’re working longer than anticipated, with almost half (46 per cent) of retirees who retired later than expected citing the need for income or savings to meet basic expenses as a reason for delaying retirement.

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The survey also found social security is the primary source of income for more than half (54 per cent) of U.S. retirees. Of this share, 20 per cent have no secondary source of retirement income.

“Despite efforts towards workplace financial wellness, retirement savers are at a financial education deficit,” said Elizabeth Chiffer, associate analyst at Cerulli, in a press release. “Solutions to address longevity risk in the defined contribution space include retirement income products that too often are sold as one-size-fits-all solutions rather than presented as an array of options that should be matched to the needs of an individual retiree.

“Uncertainty and confusion must be met with education and ‘personalization’ must transform from jargon into action.”

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