Few investors have thought a lot about when they'll retire

April 18, 2017


Whether encouraged by the extraordinary run the stock market has been on over the last eight years, or enjoying their careers too much to call it quits, many investors have no intention of entering retirement life any time soon, newly released survey numbers suggest.

Just 28 percent of investors in the U.S. have given a considerable amount of reflection on when they will exit the working world, Gallup found in a recent poll. Nearly 650 respondents, chosen at random, participated in the survey, each of whom had investable assets of at least $10,000. Nearly a third - 31 percent - said they've given the question some thought, but not to a significant degree.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their age, members of Generation X and millennials are the least likely to have pondered about when it is they plan to retire. Specifically, only 20 percent of 18- to 49-year-olds said they'd devoted a healthy amount of their time to thinking about when they intend end their careers, compared to 39 percent of respondents 50 years of age and older.

Investors aren't the only individuals who haven't devoted much of their mental energies to their retirement window. Indeed, in a separate Gallup survey, a majority of small-business owners do not want to retire at all, even though more than three-quarters believe they would be able to retire and live comfortably.

2 in 3 have talked about retirement with loved ones
Just because many investors haven't devoted a lot of their time and energy toward when they'll retire, doesn't mean they haven't taken at least some steps toward planning for it. For example, nearly two thirds of respondents - 63 percent - said they'd talked about when the time may be right with their friends and family members, the Gallup poll revealed. However, among participants with $100,000 or more in investable assets, nearly 70 percent had talked about when they'll retire with trusted confidants. Meanwhile, only slightly more than half of the poll's respondents said they'd put pen to paper, writing down exactly how much retirement income they would need to live off of. But the rate was much higher among people with $100,000 or more at 62 percent, a stark comparison to 39 percent among those with $100,000 or less in investment income.

"The dynamics of retirement are undergoing a fundamental transformation in the 21st century, with more flexibility around when to retire and less certainty about financing it," said Jim Norman, Gallup analyst. "Nevertheless, one of the key decisions facing non-retired investors is still when they should retire."

Norman added that when investors plan on retiring can help them more effectively gauge their risk management so that it aligns with their long-term goals.

How many investors have a written financial plan in place?
Much like the stock market, the physical act of writing out a financial plan has ebbed and flowed over the years. For instance, in 2015, approximately 35 percent of non-retired investors had a financial plan on the record. That's up slightly from 34 percent the previous year, but down from 40 percent in 2013, according to the results from a separate survey, also commissioned by Gallup.

When to retire is a personal decision, but not one to be taken lightly. We here at Miles Capital recognize the obstacles that can get in the way, but our industry expertise and comprehensive asset management capabilities give our clients the confidence they need to know their retirement preparations will not be made in vain.


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