T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
Feb 22, 2017

T. Rowe Price STUDY: Nearly Half of Pre-Retirees Feel Their Ideal Retirement is 'Very Attainable'

Study Finds Nearly 75% of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers View Retirement As a Time to Relax or to Reinvent Self

BALTIMORE, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new T. Rowe Price study revealed that nearly half (47%) of baby boomers and Gen Xers believe their ideal retirement is very attainable and another 45% believe it is somewhat attainable. The study included a national sample of 2,001 individuals age 36 or older who are either retired or who have taken initial steps to prepare for retirement. Those who did not feel their ideal retirement was attainable cited obstacles such as not having enough money, future health issues, and/or family obligations.

Two Retirement Themes Emerge: A Time for Reinvention or Relaxation?

The T. Rowe Price study also found that nearly 75% of investors say they view retirement as a time to relax (38%) or to reinvent themselves (34%). In contrast, approximately one-third of respondents said they either expect retirement to be status quo (19%); don't know what to expect (6%), or believe it will be a difficult time (2%).

"It's great to see that most people have positive perceptions of this next chapter in their life and that they believe their dreams are attainable," says Judith Ward, CFP® and senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price. "Despite very different mind-sets, we found that these investors have taken the steps that will help them get there, such as taking advantage of 401(k) and IRA accounts, saving 10%-20% of their income, diversifying their portfolio, and keeping their retirement funds intact," says Ward.

While investors' retirement philosophies did not differ by generation, education, or marital status, there were some significant differences when it came to gender. In addition, the study found that generational differences exist as it relates to longevity and financial planning habits.

Men and Women Differ on Retirement Philosophy

  • Men (40%) were more likely than women (36%) to describe their retirement years as a time to relax and indulge.
  • Men (50%) were more likely than women (44%) to say their ideal retirement was very attainable.
  • Women (76%) were more likely than men (64%) to list traveling as part of their ideal retirement.

"Men and women often-times have different views of retirement," says Ward. "I always recommend that couples take a moment to think about what retirement would look like. Write down your visions separately, and then compare notes. If the two versions are very different, it's time to talk."

Longevity Bonus: A Blessing or a Curse?

  • The study also looked at emotions around longevity in retirement. Americans are living longer and with an increased life expectancy, many will have an extra 30 years of retirement for which they need to plan. Respondents had mixed emotions on whether these additional years were a positive or a negative.
  • More than half (55%) of respondents said an additional 30 years of life would be "both a blessing and a curse," noting potential health issues during the later years may outweigh the benefits of living longer.
  • Gen Xers (37%) were more likely to label it a blessing compared with baby boomers (29%).
  • 45% of respondents were skeptical about the idea of an extra 30 years of life, while 35% were optimistic and 26% were excited.
  • Gen Xers (73%) were significantly more likely to say the "longevity bonus" would impact how they plan and save for retirement than baby boomers (62%). Both cited they would need to work longer in order to save more money.

Financial Habits Differ by Generation

T. Rowe Price's survey also examined financial planning habits.The findings included:

  • The extent to which investors review their accounts intensifies with age. About 57% of 36—49 year olds said they reviewed their investment accounts at least once a month.  That number jumped to 66% for investors in the 60—64 year age group.
  • Gen Xers (43%) were more likely than baby boomers (24%) to say online investment platforms and apps have changed the way they approach investing.
  • Gen Xers (82%) were more likely to say they could be doing more to prepare for their retirement than baby boomers (55%). For both groups, those who feel like they could be doing more cite not having enough money or time as reasons holding them back.

For the full report of findings, visit T. Rowe Price: Understanding Investor Attitudes Toward Retirement.

This T. Rowe Price study was conducted using SONAR™, J. Walter Thompson's in-house research unit, and aimed to understand the perceptions investors over the age of 35 have of retirement.  The survey was held from December 15, 2016 to December 21, 2016, with a sample size of 2,001 Gen Xers and baby boomers with total investable assets of at least $50,000. Respondents were either retired or needed to have taken some steps (financially or logistically) to prepare for retirement.

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. is a global investment management organization with $810.8 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. For more information, visit troweprice.com, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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SOURCE T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

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