Spectrem Group’s DC Participant Insight Series report, “Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset,” which surveyed 1,442 participants in an employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plan, found fewer than half of DC plan participants expect to have enough income to live comfortably during their retirement.
Millennials are more likely to feel confident, with 64% indicating they should have enough to make it through their retirement. Gen X investors are least comfortable with this idea, as less than four-in-ten believe they will have enough for retirement. More than half of males (55%) agree they will have enough, compared to only 44% of females.
When asked whether they were worried about depleting their retirement funds too early, DC plan participants rated themselves at a 51.78 on a 100-point scale. Millennials and WWII participants show less concern, rating themselves around a 41, while Gen Xers show the most concern. By plan balance, the most concerned participants are those with $50,000 to $99,999 in their plans.
More than three-fourths of plan participants feel the reason for their worry regarding running out of money in retirement is due to the cost of health care. Less than half attribute their worry to taxes or too much spending.
The majority of plan participants expect their household investable assets upon retirement to be less than $1 million. Thirty-five percent believe it will be between $500,000 and $1 million, and 36% believe they will have less than $500,000.
Millennials are the most optimistic about their anticipated household investable assets at retirement, with 17% believing they will see $2 million to $3 million, 22% feeling they will have $1 million to $2 million and nearly 40% believing they will have between $500,000 and $1 million. Forty-five percent of Gen Xers feel they will have less than $500,000, 34% say they will have between $500,000 and $1 million and only 14% say they will have between $1 million and $2 million. Females are less optimistic about their retirement situation than males, with less than four-in-ten feeling they will have less than $500,000 of investable assets upon retirement.NEXT: Attitudes about investing and investment selection
Nearly six in ten (59%) surveyed DC plan participants would prefer a guaranteed rate of return on the majority of their investments. However, 44% would be willing to take risk on a portion of their investments in order to achieve a higher return. Just more than one-third of participants indicate they enjoy investing and like to be involved in the day-to-day management of their investments.
Not surprisingly, as age increases, the percentage of plan participants that prefer a guaranteed rate of return on the majority of their investments increases as well. Females and participants with the lowest plan balances are also among those that are most likely to prefer a guaranteed rate of return.
As age increases, the percentage of plan participants that like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments increases. However, Gen X expressed the least interest in being involved (32% compared to 39% of Millennials). Males are more likely than females to want to be involved daily in their investment decisions. Participants with the smallest plan balances are the least likely to want to be involved in the management of their investments.
When asked about the most important factors in selecting investments, more than eight-in-ten (87%) plan participants indicated that the most important factor is the level of risk associated with the investment. This is followed by the diversity of the investments (83%) and the reputation of the companies where the investments are made (82%).
The diversity of investments is most concerning to the Gen X plan participants (87%) and least concerning among the Baby Boomers (79%). Participants with less than $10,000 in their plans are less likely to be worried about the diversity of their investments than those with higher plan balances.
As one might expect, the percentage of plan participants concerned with the level of risk associated with their investments increases as age increases. Ninety-three percent of participants in the WWII generation indicate the level of risk associated with the investment plays a big part in their decision. Females are more likely to consider the risk involved than their male counterparts.
Information about purchasing a report of survey findings can be found here.
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