Monday, March 31, 2014

What are the concerns of the rich when they retire?

Jackson National Life Insurance Company(R) (Jackson), a leading provider of retirement solutions and educational resources for industry professionals and consumers, today released the results of the 2013 Jackson Investor Education Survey, a new study which gauged the opinions of pre-retirees (men and women investors between the ages of 45 and 65) with more than $200,000 in investable assets, on key topics relating to retirement, investing and financial education. 

Since most of us are not in this group, I thought it might be interesting to see what this group has as concerns and I suspect that their concerns are the same as those who do not have the same amount invested.

The survey, completed with the help of a third-party provider, polled more than 500 investors in this specific demographic on a variety of different topics focused on financial education. Results revealed that a surprisingly small number of responding investors, only 17.8 percent of men and 10.7 percent of women, said they felt they had the financial education needed to make important investing decisions.

Additional key findings from the 2013 Jackson Investor Education Survey include:

-- The top financial concern among 74 percent of women and nearly 76 percent of men respondents was "saving enough money for retirement."

-- More than 42 percent of men and 55 percent of women who responded said they do not have enough financial knowledge to feel confident making investing decisions.

--An additional 33.7 percent of women and nearly 40 percent of men who responded reported that while they have a solid level of knowledge about financial products, terms and methods, they would still benefit from professional advice to assist in making appropriate investing decisions.

-- Nearly half of the men (49.7 percent) who responded reported having "plenty of investing confidence," compared to 35 percent of women.

-- The majority of those surveyed don't believe Social Security will be a significant portion of their retirement income when they retire, with nearly 67 percent of men and 64 percent of women saying they think Social Security will be a small supplement to their retirement income, not a significant source of income. Even worse, more than 17 percent of women and nearly 14 percent of men who responded said Social Security would "not even be enough to purchase a pack of gum" when they retire.

Matt Gonring, vice president of corporate communications for Jackson, said that the identification of key constraints for investors in obtaining relevant financial education is an important first step in helping the financial services industry make a positive impact on investors' confidence in years to come.

"While there is no 'magic bullet' to solving the investor education challenge, I think that the responses we received can provide valuable insights in our industry, whether you are an investor, advisor or a member of a financial institution," said Gonring. "The extreme variety of responses we received from those surveyed, both in terms of the wide range of obstacles and in the way men and women perceive the issues surrounding retirement, saving and financial education, highlight the necessity for outside-the-box thinking, customized strategies and creative solutions to meet the diverse educational needs of individual investors."

Allison Pearson, assistant vice president of the National Sales Desk for Jackson National Life Distributors LLC, Jackson's distribution arm, added that the overall aim of the survey and the direction of the responses received serve as important complements to the company's ongoing commitment to preparing investors and advisors for the future through education.

"To help drive our educational strategy, we created a survey to take the temperature of this specific group of investors post-recession to see how the crisis affected their decision-making, and more importantly, what they need to take steps toward improving their confidence and knowledge moving forward," said Pearson. "In the results, the surveyed investors told us loud and clear that they want help and guidance. 

In fact, nearly 44 percent of women and 42 percent of men surveyed said that having an advisor whom they trust and who really 'gets' them would make the most positive impact on their financial outlook."

Another theme of the 2013 Jackson Investor Education Survey showed time as the top obstacle to achieving financial or investing confidence, with 44 percent of women and nearly 26 percent of men surveyed saying time was the biggest hurdle. 

In addition, nearly 12 percent of women and 9 percent of men surveyed said they did have investing confidence, but lost it after the financial crisis in 2008. 

On a positive note, nearly 57 percent of both men and women surveyed said they are in good financial shape and don't have any major obstacle to achieving financial success.

"Unfortunately, that means more than 40 percent of those we surveyed do not consider themselves in good financial shape," said Pearson. "Clearly the surveyed investors know the task ahead of them in saving and planning for their retirement is an important one. The Jackson survey gives us more information to target exactly what educational materials these investors need and is another example of Jackson's commitment to education and helping advisors work toward reaching investors' retirement goals."

The 2013 Jackson Investor Education Survey Executive Summary, which highlights the research with insights from both investor and advisor perspectives, is published on the Center for Financial Insight. The Center is Jackson's thought leadership community designed to provide information for the public on a wide range of financial and investing topics, including retirement.

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