Financial Plans among Pre-Retirees Still Lacking

September 5, 2006 ( - Slightly over half (52%) of pre-retires age 55 or older do not have a retirement financial plan in place and over a third of this group do not plan to discuss the development of an income blueprint with their adviser for another six or more years.

That was a key finding of a survey conducted for MFS Investment Management, which found that nearly half of affluent Americans closing in on retirement have such plans in hand.

Other survey findings, according to an MFS news release, included:

  • More than 70% of retirees rank pensions as a source of income compared to only 54% of pre-retirees. Conversely, 74% of pre-retirees rank 401(k) plans as a source of income versus only 33% of retirees.
  • More than two thirds (69%) of pre-retirees plan to delay withdrawing from their retirement savings accounts when they first retire. The average projected age for doing so is 68. Most retirees who have begun withdrawing from their retirement savings started at an average age of 64.
  • While an overwhelming number of affluent Americans near or already in retirement say they are generally satisfied with their level of retirement savings (79% of pre-retirees and 87% of retirees), they fear that rising inflation and other issues beyond their control will cause them to outlive their money.
  • The expected retirement age for pre-retirees is 66 (mean), while 17% of pre-retirees plan to work beyond 70. In contrast, retirees reported on average that they stopped working at 59 (mean).
  • A majority of pre-retirees (55%) expect to work at least part time in retirement, while only 18% of retirees are planning to work part time.
  • More than half of pre-retirees (57%) are concerned they might be too conservatively invested and may not grow their assets enough during retirement to keep them from outliving their savings.
  • More than half of pre-retirees (57%) and almost half of retirees (47%) expressed concern that Social Security may be cut back during their retirements.

The results were drawn from 442 surveys completed online with 202 pre-retirees and 222 retirees between the ages of 55 and 75 who are either working full time or retired, use a paid professional financial adviser, and report at least $100,000 in investable assets excluding retirement accounts and real estate. Also surveyed were 216 financial advisers who describe themselves as financial advisers, brokers, investment managers, certified financial planners or wealth managers. The research was conducted by Richard Day Research, Inc. ofEvanston, Illinois.