Employers also play a very important role in helping individuals successfully prepare for retirement, according to Bank of America’s latest Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly survey, as 62% of affluent employees with retirement benefit plans available to them indicated they rely solely or heavily on these vehicles when saving and investing for retirement.
The survey found that among affluent non-retirees working with a financial adviser, two-thirds (67%) say the relationship has given them confidence in their ability to meet their long-term financial goals. In addition to helping to ensure that their investments were properly allocated to meet long-term goals (60%, affluent retirees said advisers also helped with:
- Knowing how much I would need to live the life I want in retirement (22%);
- Knowing how best to incorporate Social Security into retirement planning (18%);
- Defining how I want to live in retirement (15%); and
- Knowing how to convert investments into an income stream and manage spending (14%).
Nearly a quarter (23%) of affluent retirees say that they speak with their financial adviser more now that they are retired, with 65% doing so just as frequently as before they retired. The survey also found that 42% of affluent retirees speak to their financial adviser at least monthly, compared to 32% of non-retirees.
According to a press release, the poll results indicated access to financial education is also important. Of the affluent employees that have access to financial education in the workplace, 70% take advantage of it, and among those that do not have access, 49% would take advantage of it if it were made available to them.
When asked what employers could do to help make managing their personal finances easier, affluent employees cited:
- Provide more intuitive online tools to help them manage all their banking and investment needs (30%);
- Offer financial seminars relevant to their life stage (26%);
- Use more relevant research or literature to help inform investment decisions (23 percent); and
- Provide access to a one-on-one relationship with a financial adviser (22%).
Other advice Boomers would give the younger generation included taking a more hands-on approach to their investment portfolio such as monitoring asset allocation and making adjustments based on life stage (27%), factoring long-term expenses such as college tuition, health care and caring for aging parents into their financial strategy (19%), and better managing debt (14%). Nearly half (48%) of retirees, when looking back, found that having a clear vision for how they want to live during their retirement years, as well as knowing how to manage retirement income to ensure it lasts throughout their lifetime (52%), was more important than they had originally expected.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents recommend that individuals begin to plan financially for the life they want to live in retirement no later than in their 30s, and 57% recommend starting this planning process in their 20s.Braun Research conducted the Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly survey by phone between December 8, 2010 and January 1, 2011, on behalf of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,000 affluent Americans with investable assets in excess of $250,000.