What does it take to compel someone to get serious about retirement planning? Less than half of investors surveyed recently by Millionaire Corner said it was important for a beginning investor to have a professionally prepared retirement plan, and nearly 40 percent were ambivalent on the subject.
Despite ever-rising health care costs, stubbornly high unemployment, a collapsed housing market that has left millions trapped in homes that are worth less than what is owned on them, and savings not yet recovered from the ravages of the 2008 economic collapse, more Americans say have not saved are not in a position to save for their retirement.
Retirement planning is a subject many would like to put off for another day. Part of this of the problem, according to a study published in the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing Research the report states, is that “people may fail because of a lack of belief or imagination, to identity with their future selves.”
But researchers found that one picture is worth a thousand words, especially if that picture depicts what you will look like at age 65. Those who were shown age-progressed pictures of themselves were willing to allocate nearly a third more of their paychecks to retirement accounts than those not given a preview of coming attractions, the study concluded.
In four studies, “those who interacted with their virtual selves exhibited an increased tendency to accept later monetary rewards over immediate ones,” an abstract of the report states.
More than half of investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner in a 2011 wealth level study said they fully expect to have sufficient income to live comfortably in their senior years. Of these, baby boomers between the ages of 55 and 64 were the least confident of the age levels. Of the 28 percent who said that at present they were not saving enough to meet their financial goals, 43 percent were under the age of 55. More than a third of this age group, too, said that because of the prolonged economic downturn, they would be delaying their retirement.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.