Financial Future Murky For Retirement Plan Millionaires

July 10, 2001 ( - Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the so-called Working Wealthy are concerned about experiencing a significant financial loss, according to a new study.

Three quarters of the of Working Wealthy, who view their wealth based on their incomes and workplace retirement savings, say that their financial position this year is equal or better than it was last year, and a further 60% expect to do even better next year.

Fidelity Investments and Ernst & Young defined the Working Wealthy as those with at least $1 million in their workplace retirement plan in The Making of a Millionaire survey.

Their financial concerns centered on:

  • a potential job loss,
  • health issues or
  • a downturn in the stock market, as their more common concerns.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

In addition to the Working Wealthy, other categories of the affluent included:

  • Today?s Millionaires, who have at least $1 million in liquid assets,
  • Up and Comers, who have at least $500,000 in assets and are younger than 40, and

The study found that 65% of Today’s Millionaires are concerned they could suffer a significant financial setback, attributing their fears to:

  • a volatile stock market,
  • excessive personal debt, or
  • poor performing stocks

The Today’s Millionaires who are less concerned about losing their money, said that a well-diversified portfolio gave them confidence. In addition, 65% said they are the same or better off financially this year compared to last year, and 55% expect their financial situation to improve next year.

Up and Comers

Among Up and Comers, 70% feared a serious financial loss, basing their fears on:

  • losing their job,
  • excessive personal debt, or
  • a decline in the stock market, since much of their wealth is in the form of company stock.

Unconcerned Up and Comers base their confidence on investing for the long-term, and 77% of those surveyed said their financial situation was equal to or better than a year ago, and a further 69% expected to be better off next year.

– Camilla Klein