• IT - Boomers_Retirement_150

    Survey Results on Retirement Perspectives Imply Yes!



    Some recent surveys and reports regarding American behaviors, attitudes, and concerns on retirement lead us to believe that financial planners and their advice may be of great benefit to most Americans. 

    Take a look at some findings that may add food for thought on this subject:

    • 36 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and investments to go toward retirement according to a recent report from USA Today.
    • Only 44 percent of people have calculated how much money they'll need to retire comfortably, this according to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey: Confidence  Rebounds-for Those With Retirement Plans, conducted by the Employee Research Institute together with  Greenwald and Associates.
    • 59 percent of Americans are worried about having enough money for retirement, and this statistic jumps to over 68 percent for those 30 to 64 years of age, according to a 2014 Gallup poll on American's Top Financial Concerns.
    • The United States ranks 19th according a 2014 Global Retirement Index report by Natixis.  Natixis, a global asset management company, produced the index by analyzing the standard of living and retirement security in 150 nations based on the 20 performance indicators that identify overall welfare in retirement and old age.

    These are jarring retirement facts statistics, but the good news is that help does exist-in the form of financial planning professionals.

    Why the Shift in the Retirement Landscape

    John Hailer, CEO of Natixis, believes "individuals need to take a more proactive, personal role in planning and saving… and financial advisors have key roles to play as well, through education and innovation.

    Perspectives calling for a proactive approach, as that of Hailer's, become very real and relevant given the dramatically changing demographic and economic retirement landscape. First, with improvements in medical technology and wellness best practices, the average life expectancy for Americans is rising, now approximately 84 years for men and 87 years for women who reach 65.  Plus, studies show that older adults, the 50+ population, prefer to age in place--in other words, in their own homes and within communities that provide supportive features and services that enhance personal independence-according to AARP's Public Policy Institute's "What Is Livable? Community Preferences of Older Adults" report. This implies this population is opting to live self-sufficiently for as long as possible after retirement.

    In the past, corporate retirement benefits went a long way in supplementing Social Security and Medicare. However, many companies are reducing benefits such as health insurance for retirees as part of their cost-cutting initiatives. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 17.7 percent of employers now offer health benefits to retirees.

    Shifting the Financial Landscape: Financial Education and Guidance
    Leads to Proper Retirement Planning

    In spite of these trends, individuals can and should take steps to ensure an economically healthy retirement. Financial planners can play a big part in that.

    Hiring a financial planner may have been seen as a luxury in the past, but today getting advice from a skilled professional is imperative. Technology has made lives easier in many ways, but when it comes to finances it has led to such an overabundance of information that it takes training and a specialized education to parse through it all.

    Trusted advisors can educate and help individuals understand their financial options and figure out what actions to take. Financial education is foundational to properly assess and identify retirement financial needs. This includes reviewing potential market variability scenarios to guard against and the several investment options available.  These need to be properly understood to then plan for and manage retirement funds and thus minimize the possibility of a retirement crisis.  Once these are understood, an advisor can properly provide guidance on which may be the best retirement options to pursue, guidance and collaborative decisions based on individual's personal situation and preferences.  An advisor can also provide advice on topics such as how to take full advantage of 401(k) or IRA accounts, and perhaps provide innovative investment strategies that can provide further benefits. 

    We saw how the financial crisis damaged the economy and adversely affected millions of people worldwide in the mid-2000s. A retirement crisis could be equally damaging, but the good news is that steps can be taken to prevent it from happening. Financial planning professionals can play a key role in shaping a healthy economic future for our retiring population.




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