Here's what Americans are most worried about paying for in retirement

  • Almost half of respondents to a survey said they do not know how they will pay for their medical care in retirement — despite the fact that this is a top concern.
  • Millennial men worry more about short-term market volatility, while Generation X women are most uneasy about whether their money will cover their retirement costs.
Retirement savings catchup
Daniel Grill | Getty Images

When it comes to retirement costs, Americans are most worried about how they will cover their medical and pharmaceutical bills, according to the latest annual survey from Franklin Templeton Investments.

The survey, which included 2,002 individuals ages 18 and up, found that medical and pharmaceutical expenses is a pressing concern for 31 percent of those polled. That is followed by worries about getting out of debt, cited by 18 percent, and paying for assisted living care, 15 percent.

Despite those concerns, 46 percent of survey respondents said they do not know how they will pay for their medical costs in retirement.

And 76 percent of respondents who are not yet retired are not using a health savings account, either because they do not have access to one or because they are not using the one they have.

While HSAs are touted by retirement experts for their triple tax benefits — money is invested pre-tax, grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax free for qualified medical expenses — you do have to have a high-deductible health plan in order to have this kind of account.

Generational split

When it comes to retirement confidence, generations and genders were divided, according to the survey results.

Millennial men — who are furthest from retirement — were more concerned with short-term market volatility than not meeting long-term financial goals.

Generation X women were least confident about their ability to effectively manage their money in retirement in order to pay their bills.

The online survey was conducted in January.