The MetLife Mature Market Institute has announced the availability of its free “Retirement Readiness Workbook” to help people prepare for and transition into retirement smoothly. The workbook is a companion piece to the recently released study, “MetLife Retirement Readiness Index: Are Americans Prepared for the Transition?,” and is a tool to help those planning for retirement. The “Retirement Readiness Workbook” has specific checklists and directives to assist people in assessing their own level of preparation and planning, both of which have been shown to have a substantial impact on successful retirement.

The workbook is divided into three parts: 1) 15 Tasks Toward a Successful Transition into Retirement, 2) Assessing Your Retirement Readiness and, 3) Taking Action. Users can score their own retirement preparedness and will then be directed to certain activities to help them improve their level of participation. Recommendations vary by the amount of time one has until retirement.

Both the study and the workbook focus on the following five critical issues:

  • When to retire and the potential for transition to part-time work
  • How leisure and work will be balanced in retirement
  • How retirement will affect one’s relationships
  • How much money/income will be needed for retirement
  • Contingency planning for the unexpected

“Today, retirement has become an extended period that may last for 20 to 30 years, which leads to a number of questions related to both lifestyle and finances,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “Using all available resources – guidance from financial professionals, information on the Internet, discussions with family and friends and considerable thought – people will be more likely to take the right steps at the right time. And the decisions don’t end on the day of retirement. There is an ongoing process of making adjustments, and often new decisions, to deal with evolving circumstances and goals.”

The Retirement Readiness Index study found the following:

  • Most people wait until the final few years prior to retirement to make significant decisions.
  • 46% of respondents who are still working say they will delay their planned retirement age. Of those who have already retired, 64% report they retired earlier than expected, while only 33% retired when planned and 3% retired later than expected.
  • Men are much more likely than women to have thought about whether full-time retirement is financially feasible and how much they are willing to work in retirement. They are also more likely to have determined whether their retirement plans are adequate, identified what external factors could affect their retirement and determined the steps necessary to receive the benefits due to them.
  • 52% of respondents are behind in their savings goals; 25% say they are significantly behind. Only 28% are confident they are on track or have reached their goals.
  • 46% of respondents have considered the importance of relationships with co-workers in making the decision to retire and 45% have considered how various aspects of their retirement might positively or negatively affect their relationships with family and friends.

The “Retirement Readiness Workbook” and the “MetLife Retirement Readiness Index: Are Americans Prepared for the Transition?” can be downloaded from www.MatureMarketInstitute.com. They can also be ordered by e-mailing MatureMarketInstitute@metlife.com or by writing to: MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information about the MMI, please visit: www.MatureMarketInstitute.com.

The MetLife Mature Market Institute®
Established in 1997, the Mature Market Institute (MMI) is MetLife’s research organization and a recognized thought leader on the multi-dimensional and multi-generational issues of aging and longevity. MMI’s groundbreaking research, gerontology expertise, national partnerships, and educational materials work to expand the knowledge and choices for those in, approaching, or caring for those in the mature market.

MMI supports MetLife’s long-standing commitment to identifying emerging issues and innovative solutions for the challenges of life. MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin American, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.


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Debra Caruso
Shalana Morris
Joseph Madden