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Survey Finds Boomers Prefer Reinvention Over Traditional Retirement, Seek Peace of Mind Over Wealth Accumulation, and Are Facing Multigenerational Family Responsibilities
When it comes to financial goals, achieving peace of mind is seven times more important than accumulating wealth (88 percent and 12 percent, respectively) to adults age 45 and older, according to a new Merrill Lynch study, conducted in partnership with Age Wave. The study found that retirement has been redefined – with people expecting to live and often work longer than any preceding generation, and taking different approaches to preparing for and living their best life during these years.
“Boomers have always paved their own way, and are once again pioneering new territory,” said Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “They share a strong view that retirement is not an end but a beginning, an opportunity for reinvention. Their perspectives, concerns, goals and how they plan to achieve them are different. What they seek is clarity and confidence about what is possible in the context of their hopes and myriad uncertainties.”
Completed in January 2013, the study is based on a nationwide survey of more than 6,300 respondents age 45 and older. Key findings were published today in a report titled “Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus,” which reveals new insights into people’s approaches to and thoughts about retirement, including:
“Americans have mixed feelings about living longer and transitioning into retirement,” said Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Age Wave. “While they welcome the extra time to pursue new interests and spend more time with family and friends, they are concerned about outliving their assets and experiencing a serious health disruption. Even those who have saved adequately can be anxious and often overwhelmed by this complexity and the unknowns they face.”
The study also offers new insights about sources of concern and the need for guidance, including:
“Most people understand that retirement planning is not a ‘once and done’ proposition,” said David Tyrie, head of Personal Wealth and Retirement for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Where guidance is needed most is helping people understand how all of these variables and decisions work together over time. At Merrill Lynch, we are developing a new approach to help people carefully consider nearly all aspects of their life when planning for and living in retirement, including health care costs, family, giving, home, work, leisure and finances.”
For more information about the study, “Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus,” please visit www.ml.com/2013retirementstudy.
Twitter Retirement Q&A: Beginning May 6, the @MerrillLynch Twitter handle will be taking questions on the challenges, concerns and new approaches the study reveals. Questions will be addressed on the handle on Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m. ET. Follow the @MerrillLynch Twitter handle to participate.
“Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus” is based on a national public opinion poll conducted online by Harris Interactive. The Merrill Lynch survey was completed from December 2012 to January 2013, in partnership with Age Wave, and included more than 6,300 respondents age 45 and older. Findings are based on 3,002 responses from the general population. In addition, select study findings are based on an oversampling of an additional 3,005 affluent respondents with $250,000 to $3 million in investable assets (including liquid cash and investments, but excluding real estate). The remaining 320 interviews included an oversample among 60- to 70-year-olds. Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Age Wave
Age Wave is the nation’s foremost thought leader on population aging and its profound business, social, healthcare, financial, workforce and cultural implications. Under the leadership of founder and CEO, Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave has developed a unique understanding of the body, mind, hopes and demands of new generations of maturing consumers and workers and their expectations, attitudes, hopes, and fears regarding retirement. Since its inception in 1986, the firm has provided breakthrough research, compelling presentations, award-winning communications, education and training systems and results-driven marketing and consulting initiatives to over half the Fortune 500. For more information, please visit www.agewave.com. Age Wave is not affiliated with Bank of America Corporation.
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is a leading provider of comprehensive wealth management and investment services for individuals and businesses globally. With nearly 15,000 Financial Advisors and $1.8 trillion in client balances as of March 31, 2013, it is among the largest businesses of its kind in the world. Within Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, the Private Banking and Investment Group provides tailored solutions to ultra affluent clients, offering both the intimacy of a boutique and the resources of a premier global financial services company. These clients are served by more than 150 Private Wealth Advisor teams, along with experts in areas such as investment management, concentrated stock management and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies. Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is part of Bank of America Corporation.
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management (MLGWM) represents multiple business areas within Bank of America’s wealth and investment management division including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (North America and International), Merrill Lynch Trust Company, and Private Banking and Investments Group. As of March 31, 2013, MLGWM entities had approximately $1.8 trillion in client balances. Client Balances consists of the following assets of clients held in their MLGWM accounts: assets under management (AUM) of MLGWM entities, client brokerage assets, assets in custody of MLGWM entities, loan balances and deposits of MLGWM clients held at Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.
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