Americans Keep Hands off Retirement Savings

January 15, 2002 ( - Only one in ten Americans would use their retirement plan to combat a financial setback, research by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America shows.
  • almost half would use life insurance assets,
  • while 15% would use savings accounts

In addition, Allianz’s survey results show that,

  • one-quarter of respondents say that they are unprepared to deal with a financial setback such as serious illness, accident or death,
  • with 44% of these saying they feel unprepared because they lack financial resources, and
  • over one fifth saying they feel unprepared because they haven’t thought about it

Priority Shift

Family concerns drive Americans’ financial and investment decisions more than anything else, according the group’s Report on American Priorities, which also reflects a slight shift in sentiment since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

While most Baby Boomers still think their finances are more important than their mortality, that figure has declined by 10% since the attacks. Those mentioning mortality as the most important jumped 8% during the same time.

The research also shows that:

  • two-thirds of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers invest in a 401(k) plan and 52% own individual stock or bond investments, but less than half have insurance beyond what they get at work, and
  • two-thirds of the sample already had life insurance through their employers while 44% had purchased it separately

Allianz Life commissioned SWR Worldwide to conduct two nationwide surveys of consumers aged between 25 and 45. The first survey was fielded among 800 Americans in August 2001. The second survey was fielded among 400 Americans in January 2002.

Read the entire survey and results