man's hand throwing paper airplanes out of window high above city (Photo: Shutterstock)

In addition to everything that has been turned upside-down these days in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, retirement planning timetables are going to have to be recalculated when this is all over.

The vast majority of employed Americans preparing to retire—91 percent, according to the Retirement Reset study from the Alliance for Lifetime Income—say that their retirement plans are based on “hitting specific planned milestones.”

This is in spite of the fact that among those in the same age demographic who have already retired, 47 percent say they ended up retiring at least in part because of circumstances beyond their control.

And if ever there were a circumstance beyond the control of those planning retirement, it’s the current market volatility resulting from COVID-19.

The report points out that 61 percent of those in “prime retirement years” are worried about it, particularly those who have not yet retired. And 52 percent of those anticipating retirement are not fully confident about whether they can do it when planned, chiefly because of market volatility.

In fact, only about a third of respondents were “very confident” that they have enough income to cover their expenses.

Those between the ages of 61 and 65 say they think about retirement a lot, with 20 percent saying they think about it all the time and more than 40 percent saying they think about it frequently.

But 80 percent also say that there’s at least a moderate chance that they or their spouse or partner will have high medical expenses—and they worry about other responsibilities, too, with half expecting to provide personal care for someone and a quarter thinking they’ll have to provide financial support to someone.

Among those still working, 48 percent are “very confident” that they’ll retire at the age they’ve planned on, although among those who have already retired, 25 percent cited specific outside circumstances as prompting their action, with 14 percent saying they were unhappy with circumstances at their employer’s and 11 percent pointing to health issues, whether their own or those of a loved one.

In the current volatile atmosphere, retirees, at 75 percent, are more likely than those still working, at 67 percent, to say that they’re not changing their investments at present—with some saying their assets aren’t of a type that can be adjusted.