Financial Professionals Increase Retirement Confidence

September 20, 2011 ( – The latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index finds workers who use the help of financial professionals are more confident in the adequacy of their savings for retirement.

Forty-two percent of workers who use an adviser say they are saving enough money in order to live comfortably in retirement, compared to 22% who do not use an adviser.  

Workers also report mixed views on how much they need to put away in order to have enough money coming in during retirement. Twenty-two percent think they need to save 1% – 8% of their pay (including any employer match), and 56% think they need to save 9% or more of their pay (including any employer match).  

In practice, more workers (42%) report saving 1% – 8% of their income, including any employer match, than those who say they are saving 9% or more (30%).    

The survey also found the number of Americans who are concerned about their long-term financial future rose dramatically – to 67% in the third quarter for retirees (from 43% last quarter) and to 68% for workers (from 63%).  

Short-term concerns also grew in the third quarter with 28% of workers and 36% of retirees reporting they are pessimistic regarding the economic outlook for the rest of 2011, up from 20% for workers and 21% for retirees last quarter. Looking beyond 2011, 58% of retirees and 46% of workers say the economy will worsen in 2012.

Saving for College More Difficult  

The latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index finds that among workers and retirees who have children that are not already out of school, 39% of workers and 26% of retirees are saving for their children’s college education. Seventy-four percent of workers and 59% of retirees report that the economy has made it more difficult to save for their children’s future college education.  

Nearly three quarters of retirees (72%) who are saving for their children’s college education are satisfied with their level of savings, while only 30% of workers who are saving are satisfied.  

For workers, the top reasons for not saving for their children’s college education are finances (53%), followed by the expectation their children will pay via student loans (26%) or through scholarships (25%).  

The survey also found online deals and coupons influence how Americans spend. Thirty percent of workers report making purchases from daily discount Web sites such as Groupon or Living Social in the past year.  

The top reasons workers are likely to purchase from these Web sites include getting a good deal (75%), purchasing items they would buy anyway at a discounted price (58%), or trying out new items/services at a discount (43%).    

Coupon clipping is reported by four out of five workers (80%). Top coupon-clipping items include food, personal care products, cleaning products, and restaurants.    

See the full report and past results at