Just this morning I was reading about a phone survey conducted in March by the National Council on Aging, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY. It involved 2000 participants, half of whom were over 60 with the other half being 18 to 59. I found the results interesting and honestly, baffling. Baffling because it’s just not what we see day in and day out. Maybe our practice is outside the norm. Maybe the survey participants are exceptionally optimistic. Or maybe they’re just crazy.
89% of older adults and 84% of younger adults say they’re confident they can maintain a high quality of life throughout their senior years”
It’s the first number that surprised me the most. But I’m pretty happy about it actually. Pessimism isn’t a fun or profitable way to go through life.
Support of friends and family topped the chart in reasons why people felt this way. Being happy about their living situation, being well-prepared financially, being in good health and generally being optimistic were among the other top 5 reasons offered.
When you look more closely you begin to see optimism being tempered. About 45% of the older participants of the survey said they wish they had saved more. The reality is that Social Security and other pension benefits aren’t going to provide the safety and security many Americans once thought they would. About 31% of the older participants admitted they wish they had made better investments.
It seems there are new survey results published daily. We don’t lack data or information. We may lack accuracy and objectivity, but it’s still interesting to see how people view retirement and their financial future.
Another survey conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies discovered an increase in financial optimism over a year ago, but still almost half (49%) of the 60-and-older respondents are concerned that their savings and income may be insufficient for their future. In 2013, 53% of them felt that way. We all realize that the current economic climate often dictates how people feel about the future. So it makes sense that as our economy lumbers out of the recession, optimism lumbers forward, too.
Except for the extremely wealthy, I think many older Americans are fearful they don’t have enough. Some will likely never feel they have enough, no matter how much they have. Others are in a riskier position because they didn’t act sooner. Preparing for the future is best done today. Eventually, your future becomes your present so you can’t delay.
I could dazzle you with many more survey results, but that wouldn’t help YOU. Knowing how the rest of the entire world feels about retirement may affect your psychology, and your mindset could certainly impact your decisions…but today I’m urging you to be optimistic and prepare! Forget what other people are doing, or feeling. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do to build the future you want.
Every single day at Accelerated Wealth we’re helping the young and old alike plan for the future by focusing on the present. It’s not voodoo or wishful thinking. It’s purposeful. Intentional. Strategic.
Call us today and we’ll do our very best to make sure you’re the smiling face in the crowd.