Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study

January 2011

More than half (54%) of middle-income Americans age 55 to 75 do not receive professional retirement guidance of any kind. This study explores the use, access and attitudes of
middle-income retirees and pre-retirees toward planning for and managing their lives in retirement. Download the Full Study

Analysis of the Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study finds that three misconceptions about professional advisors may be keeping middle-income retirees and pre-retirees from seeking this guidance.Download the Insight Report

Download All Key Findings

 

  • Almost two in three (63%) middle-income Americans age 55 to 75 are unsure if they have saved enough to live comfortably in retirement.
  • More than half (54%) of middle-income retirees and pre-retirees do not receive professional retirement guidance of any kind.
  • Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents had not been contacted by any kind of retirement professional in the past 12 months.
  • Eighty-four percent (84%) of those surveyed who do work with a professional indicated that they reached out to their advisor first, not the other way around.
  • Of middle-income retirees and pre-retirees not working with a professional advisor, 84% do not think they need one. The three reasons most often given for this are:
    • I can do it myself (47%)
    • I don't have enough assets (37%)
    • It's too expensive (23%)
  • Of all middle-income retirees and pre-retirees surveyed, 30% spend no time at all researching or investigating retirement planning opportunities; two out of three (61%) spend less than one hour per month.
  • Although those without an advisor enjoy planning, 63% spend less than one hour per month on retirement planning compared to 58% of those with an advisor. Over one-third (36%) of those without an advisor spend no time at all doing this research.
  • Many of those not working with a professional advisor feel it is too expensive; however, one-third (32%) do not know how much this service costs.
  • Many of those not working with a professional advisor feel they do not have enough assets for a retirement professional to want to meet with them; however, one-fifth (20%) do not know the asset minimum needed.
  • Two in three (68%) middle-income retirees and pre-retirees who work with a professional advisor feel better prepared for retirement than their peers do.
  • Only 14% of respondents working with an advisor do not think they have saved enough money to live comfortably in retirement, whereas one-third (34%) of those surveyed without a professional advisor have this concern.
Middle Income Graphic 1Middle Income Graphic 2

The Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study is sponsored by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement and was conducted in August of 2010 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. A nationwide sample of 502 Americans age 55 to age 75 with an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000 participated in the Internet-based survey. Significant sub-sample differences were tested at the 95% and 90% confidence levels.

Customer Resources

If you want to receive professional guidance on improving your financial security in retirement, these resources can help you find a licensed advisor or agent.

American College

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

Bankers Life and Casualty Company


Bankers Life & Casualty Logo