In some ways, the working generation furthest from retirement is the generation feeling the most stress about their retirement financial goals, according a survey released Wednesday by Franklin Templeton.
High stress levels also are evident in the 45- to 54-year-old group, says the 2016 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey. Franklin Templeton is a global investment management organization based in San Mateo, Calif.
The 45- to 54-year-olds are the most concerned about managing their retirement income to meet their goals, most concerned they will outlive their assets, and most stressed when thinking about retirement. But the youngest workers, those ages 18 to 34, match the older workers’ level of concern when it comes to being able to manage their retirement income to meet their goals. About 55 percent of both groups express concern.
Overall, the percent of the 2,019 adults reporting to be stressed about retirement increased from 67 percent in 2014 to 70 percent last year, the survey says. At the same time, fewer respondents are saving for retirement than in prior years, with 41 percent of respondents indicating they are not yet saving, compared to 35 percent in 2014.
Only 25 percent of respondents say their retirement income strategy is complete.
“Our annual RISE survey consistently underscores the importance of creating a retirement income strategy to not only help meet long-term savings goals, but also reduce stress and anxiety surrounding retirement planning,” says Michael Doshier, vice president of Retirement Marketing for Franklin Templeton Investments.
“That being said, retirement planning strategies are not one-size-fits-all, a fact that this year’s data certainly reinforces. Needs, expectations and concerns can vary widely depending on a variety of factors—such as age and lifestyle considerations—all of which can play a key role in the development and implementation of a successful retirement income strategy,” he adds
The survey respondents revealed a disconnect when it comes to their understanding of employer-sponsored retirement plans. Ninety-four percent say the plans are important to their retirement, but 38 percent do not know how much of their income their plan will replace in retirement.
A lack of understanding is a key factor in creating stress, according to Franklin Templeton. Of those people who reported experiencing significant stress when thinking about their retirement savings, 65 percent indicated that they did not have an understanding of how much they should expect to withdraw each year. Of those who are concerned about managing retirement income, 60 percent do not know how they will pay their medical expenses during retirement.
“While there’s no question that individuals understand the importance of planning for retirement, they may be overwhelmed with preconceived and often unrealistic expectations that can prevent them from taking any action, as they don’t know where to start,” says Yaqub Ahmed, head of Defined Contribution-U.S. for Franklin Templeton.
Retirees’ advice to pre-retirees remains consistent: 71 percent advise them to save early, often and consistently. Retired respondents also emphasized the value of professional advice, with 30 percent recommending that pre-retirees work with a qualified financial advisor to help achieve retirement goals.