Increased confidence in having a financially secure retirement is strongly related to retirement plan participation.
Retirement plan participants, by their very definition, are motivated investors.
Outliving one’s savings is the biggest financial fear among affluent households surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, while not saving enough is the biggest financial fear. Those with a retirement plan are more likely to enter their senior years with confidence than those without. The Employee Benefit Retirement Institute’s 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey found that the nation’s overall resurgence in retirement confidence continues from the record lows experienced between 2009 and 2013 is based on the increasing optimism of those who indicate they and/or their spouse have a retirement plan.
Twenty-two percent of American workers are now very confident they will have enough savings to live comfortably in retirement (up from 13 percent in 2013 and 18 percent in 2014), while 36 percent are somewhat confident. Twenty-four percent are not at all confident (statistically unchanged from 28 percent in 2013 and 24 percent in 2014). The increased confidence since 2013 is strongly related to retirement plan participation. Among those with a plan, the percentage very confident increased from 14 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2015. In contrast, the percentage very confident remained statistically unchanged among those without a plan (10 percent in 2013, 9 percent in 2014, and 12 percent in 2015)
(What national issues and personal concerns are most on the mind of retirement plan participants? Click here to read the report.)
A majority (54 percent) of retirement plan participants, with an eye toward protecting their principal, prefer a guaranteed rate of return for the majority of their investments, according to a new Spectrem Group report Financial Attitudes and Concerns of DC Participants. Almost half (46 percent) would be willing to take significant investment risk on a portion of their investments to earn a high return.
Not surprisingly, women retirement plan participants, who face unique retirement savings challenges due to salary inequality as well as time away from their career to act as family caregiver, are more likely than men to express a conservative investment mindset (54 percent vs. 44 percent). Conversely, men are much more likely to indicate a more aggressive mindset regarding investment risk (50 percent vs. 41 percent).
Male retirement plan participants are also significantly more likely to express a preference for being hands-on with the day-to-day management of their investments (50 percent vs. 32 percent).
So, too, do plan participants ages 35-49 more eager than their younger and older counterparts to be so actively involved (46 percent vs. 37 percent of Baby Boomers and seniors and 39 percent of Millennials). Baby Boomers ages 50-64 are most likely to indicate they enjoy investing and would not want to give it up (44 percent).
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.