Americans Need Holistic Retirement Planning Approach

November 4, 2003 ( - Many Americans are losing sight of the big financial picture when they plan for retirement, a new survey found

According to the Fidelity Investments survey, less than half   of workers manage their workplace and personal retirement assets together while more than two-thirdsfail to factor in health-care costs when they do retirement planning.

Looking at it from the other direction, the survey also found that most investors do not consider their individual retirement assets when managing their long-term savings. In fact, fewer than four in 10   of those with personal retirement investments – such as an IRA – review these together with their workplace plans.

“We have found that American workers have been very good at managing their 401(k)s, but we believe they can be more effective when they take a total approach to retirement planning by factoring in their pension plans and other personal savings,” said Kathryn Hopkins, executive vice president, Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services Company.  “Additionally, this comprehensive approach now needs to account for health-care expenses, which have increased dramatically in recent years.”

The online survey was conducted by Richard Day Research, Inc. using Harris Interactive’s online panel from July 30 to August 28, 2003. It included 1,775 employees at large employers (5,000 or more employees) who participate in at least one of the following benefits: health-care plan, defined contribution plan, defined benefit plan or medical flexible spending account (enrolled or available).