Retirement Fears Jump the Wealth Gap to Strike Many Affluent Americans, Wells Fargo Retirement Study Finds
Twice as many affluent women as men see themselves working until at least age 80
Telephone interviews of 801 affluent Americans between the ages of 25 and 75, conducted in August and September 2011 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wells Fargo Retirement, found:
- More than one third (37%) say they need to significantly cut back their spending to save for retirement, including nearly half (48%) of those with $100,000 to $250,000 in investable assets.
- Four in ten affluent Americans (40%) say their biggest fear about retirement is they “will do all the right things today and it still won't be enough for tomorrow” and 9% fear they “will have under saved and won’t recover.”
- About a quarter of affluent Americans (23%) say they are not confident they will have saved enough for retirement, and this is especially true for Americans with assets between $100,000 and $250,00o (33%), people without a written retirement plan (32%) and women (31%).
- More than one in five (21%) between the ages of 60 and 75 say they don’t know when they will be able to retire.
- Nearly one in five (19%) with assets of between $100,000 and $250,000 feel they will need to work until “at least age 80,” a sentiment reported by 25% of middle-class Americans surveyed at the same time. Among all the affluent surveyed, 12% say they will work until 80.
“Despite the fact that women hold half the high paying managerial positions in the U.S. workforce and they make a majority of household buying decisions, women continue to lag behind men in their confidence in preparing for retirement and this is particularly true for single women,” Wimbish says.
- Twice as many affluent women as men agree they will need to work until age 80 to have enough savings to live comfortably in retirement (18% of women vs. 9% of men).
- Less than half of women (42%) with investable assets of $100,000-$250,000, say they have a written plan versus 59% of women with assets greater than $250,000.
- Nearly one third (31%) of affluent women say they aren’t confident they will have enough saved to live the lifestyle they want throughout their retirement, vs. only 18% of affluent men.
- Single women are the least confident that they will save enough to retire comfortably: 44% said they weren’t confident, compared to 27% of married / partnered women and 17% of married / partnered men.
- Among affluent women, – who are the lead drivers of America’s consumer economy – two in five (42%) say they need to significantly cut back spending today in order to save for retirement, vs. 34% for men.
- Asked to name their biggest fear about retirement, 48% of affluent women said they fear they “will do all the right things today and it still won't be enough for tomorrow,” vs. 35% of affluent men. Affluent women are less likely to say they “have no fears, it will work itself out” than men (42% for women, 55% for men).
- Women are more likely than men to cast aside the idea of a retirement age, with 80% of women vs. 67% of men saying it is more important to have a specific amount saved before retirement, regardless of age, than it is to retire at a specific age, regardless of savings.
- Men are more likely to expect to receive or already receive a pension – 57% of men compared to 47% of women.
- Men are much more likely to say they’ll work in their retirement years because they “want to” rather than “need to:” 42% of men versus 34% of women. Among those age 40 to 49, half (50%) of men say they will work by choice, versus 39% of women.
- Among the affluent, the majority, 54% have a detailed written retirement plan, vs. 30% of the middle class.
- However, those with a detailed written plan tend to exclude key aspects of their retirement planning such as how much savings will be withdrawn (28%); life expectancy and how long the savings will need to last (30%); and a budget in retirement (34%).
- Affluent Americans expect to withdraw a median of 8% from their retirement nest egg on an annual basis. Affluent Americans between 50 and 59 project a median withdrawal of 5% as do people in their 60’s. Women between the ages of 60 and 69 say they will withdraw 7%.
- A slight majority of the affluent (58%) plan to work in their retirement years, vs. 74% of the middle class.
- Among affluent Americans, 39% will work in their retirement years because they want to, rather than out of financial need, while two in ten will have to work, either to maintain their lifestyle (12%) or to make ends meet (8%).
- Affluent Americans are divided over their confidence in the stock market as a good place for retirement investments. Those more bullish are men (51%, vs. 42% for women), people who have investable assets of $250,000 or more (56%) versus those with $100,000 to $250,000 (37%), and those with detailed written retirement plans (52%).
https://www.wellsfargo.com/investing/retirement/ or visit the blog Beyond Today at https://www.wellsfargo.com/beyondtoday/ .
On behalf of Wells Fargo Retirement, Harris Interactive conducted telephone interviews with 801 Americans ages 25 to 75 who owned at least $100,000 in investable assets, excluding real estate and other property. The group was split evenly between those with $100,000 to $250,000 in assets and those with more than $250,000. The survey was conducted between August 11 and September 23, alongside a matching survey of middle class Americans released on November 16.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.