Data and Research

Investors Working on Overall Financial Wellness

However, contributing to an emergency fund and saving at least 10% for retirement are two of the most challenging practices.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | May 22, 2017
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The majority of investors already follow a number of basic steps that contribute to overall financial health, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

However, two practices prove more challenging for investors: contributing to an emergency fund and saving at least 10% for retirement. While 67% of non-retired investors say they already save at least 10% of their income for retirement and another 14% say they don’t, but it would be easy, 19% don’t save this much, and say doing so would not be easy.

The importance of 401(k)-type plans as a vehicle for helping to achieve retirement security is clear in the finding that 69% of investors, including 76% of non-retirees and 50% of retirees, have a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

The majority of investors (58%) say they get professional advice when making investment decisions for their 401(k)-type plan. While there is no significant difference by asset level, women are more likely than men to say they use professional advice: 66% vs. 51%.

At the same time, 40% of investors say they make their own decisions about what to include in their 401(k)-type plan. Most of these say they like it that way, but one-quarter of those who make their own decisions would prefer to have professional advice.

“From the first day on the job all the way through the retirement years, there are a number of key decisions and levers that can impact your retirement outcome,” says Jon Graff, director of Participant Services at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “Although some investors prefer to do it alone, almost seven in 10 (those who already get professional advice plus those who don’t but would like to) would rather get some help for these key decisions. There are many ways to get that advice, depending on where you are in your journey.”

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