Among Americans over age 50, 83% say that outside pressures have reduced their ability to generate adequate retirement income, according to a survey commissioned by Golden Retirement Resources. Unsurprisingly, the Retirement Flexibility Study found that those with lower incomes have the least flexibility to adapt to economic and life events.

Just over half, 51%, said they had felt the crunch from a shrinking portfolio, and 47% said that falling interest rates had taken their toll.

Furthermore, among those who are already partially or fully retired, exactly half have had to pay more for health care expenses than they had anticipated. Declining health or an illness have affected over a third, and 29% have experienced a decreased standard of living as a result.

Unfortunately, most retirement plans are not able to meet the needs of retirees, especially those with more limited means, said Jerry Golden, president and CEO of the eponymous firm.

"The average American needs solutions that offer a holistic retirement approach to managing retirement finances, one that goes beyond simply drawing down a lifetime's worth of savings and hoping that prolonged illness, rising costs, or a down market don't derail their planning," Golden said. "The best income plans incorporate both flexibility and consistency, and they should be available to the average investor, not only to the high-net-worth investor."

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