Only 56% of the more than 4,000 U.S. respondents to BlackRock’s 2019 Global Investor Pulse survey said they have started to save for retirement, and only 45% of them feel confident that they’ll achieve their “ideal retirement.”
Fewer than half (44%) of U.S. respondents said they have any market-based investment holdings at all, inhibiting their progress toward long-term financial goals.
Respondents reported they are too worried about their financial situation today to think about tomorrow, citing high cost of living (56%), health care costs (49%) and rising prices (34%) as the greatest threats to their current financial health.
However, the survey found a high correlation between planning for the future and a sense of overall contentment. And, those with a higher sense of financial well-being are four times more likely to feel confident about their retirement income (66% vs. 17%).
Women, in particular, are missing out on the financial and emotional benefits of investing. While those who have a retirement plan report a higher well-being (76%) versus those who do not (53%), only half (52%) of U.S. women have started to save for retirement at all. For 64% of this group, just the thought of investing is a source of stress, compared to 50% of U.S. men.
The Global Investor Pulse survey found only 38% of U.S. women invest in the financial markets and more than half (55%) say investing is not for “people like me.” U.S. women who do invest take a more cautious approach, with 38% willing to increase their investment risk to achieve higher returns, compared to 56% of men.
Millennials reported worrying about their finances more than any other age group. More than half (58%) said they are too worried about their current financial situation to think about their future. Seventy-seven percent of Millennials feel there are too many investment options to choose from and six in ten (59%) said they don’t know where to go for retirement planning advice. However, the vast majority of adults ages 25 to 37 (84%) believe their financial outlook would improve if they started investing.
BlackRock says easy-to-use investment solutions could help alleviate both financial and emotional barriers to saving and investing for the long term. Among those who have started investing, seven in ten (70%) U.S. respondents said new technology solutions would help them be more involved in their investments. In addition, the study found that 83% of respondents who work with a financial adviser reported a high sense of well-being, compared with 61% of those who don’t.More information is here.