BANK OF AMERICA

Newsroom

 

Facts & Resources

Atlanta Forgoes Saving for Retirement With a New Goal in Mind

Merrill Edge® Report Finds the Traditional Idea of Retirement Is Officially Extinct for Atlanta Residents and Millennials, With Many Saving for Financial Freedom Instead

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 9:00 am EDT

Dateline:

Atlanta
"This spring’s report shows there’s a change in why Atlanta respondents are saving"

Atlanta residents are mirroring millennials across the country as they start to plan long-term for financial freedom instead of retirement. Fifty-seven percent of Atlanta residents and 63 percent of millennials in the United States are looking to achieve the amount of money or savings needed to live their desired lifestyle, while Gen Xers and baby boomers in the United States (55 percent) are saving to leave the workforce.

These findings are according to the latest Merrill Edge Report, a biannual survey of 1,000 mass affluent Americans1 that oversampled 300 Atlanta residents between March 21 and April 5, 2017. The report reveals strong similarities between how Atlanta residents approach their financial futures compared to younger generations in the United States. 

“This spring’s report shows there’s a change in why Atlanta respondents are saving,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge. “With more Atlanta residents saving for their desired lifestyle instead of retirement, Americans should take a hands-on approach to pursuing their goals and create a plan to help them get there.”

However, despite saving long-term for financial freedom, it appears Atlanta residents could improve their everyday saving habits. The report found Atlanta respondents are currently more likely to spend their money on travel (76 percent), their home (75 percent), dining out (63 percent) and fitness (51 percent) than invest in their financial future.

Preparing for life’s “what ifs”

In line with national respondents who are saving less than 10 percent (42 percent) of their salary, 43 percent of Atlanta residents are saving less than 10 percent of their salary, including 5 percent who don’t save at all. This savings gap may be the reason why Atlanta respondents don’t feel prepared for life’s “what-if” scenarios: 

  • Sixty-four percent are not very confident they could achieve their financial goals if they were to get divorced.
  • Sixty-seven percent say they are not very confident they could achieve their financial goals if they had children.
  • Forty-three percent are not very confident they could achieve their goals if they outlived their significant other.

 

Atlanta respondents think they could do a better job to prepare for life’s surprises. About half of Atlanta residents believe individuals in the U.S. should be required to receive a financial education, and 53 percent believe they should be required to save for retirement.

The future of financial advice

Innovations in technology have a significant influence on the future of saving, as many Atlanta residents and Americans alike are increasingly embracing recent industry advancements to make investment decisions and receive guidance. 

Forty-seven percent of Atlanta respondents say they make and manage their investments through an online or mobile portal. Atlanta residents cite this ability to invest via mobile makes them feel knowledgeable (44 percent) and empowered (43 percent).

For more in-depth information about the financial behaviors and priorities of mass affluent Atlanta residents and Americans, read the entire Spring 2017 Merrill Edge Report here. A complementing infographic is available here.


1 Merrill Edge Survey Methodology
Convergys (an independent market research company) conducted a nationally representative, panel sample online survey on behalf of Merrill Edge March 21-April 5, 2017. The survey consisted of 1,023 mass affluent respondents throughout the U.S. Respondents in the study were defined as aged 18 to 34 (millennials) with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000 or those aged 18 to 34 who have investable assets between $20,000 and $50,000 with an annual income of at least $50,000; or aged 35-plus with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000. For this purpose, investable assets consist of the value of all cash, savings, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, stocks, bonds and all other types of investments excluding primary home and other real estate investments. We conducted an oversampling of 300 mass affluents in the following markets: Los Angeles, Dallas, South Florida, Chicago, Atlanta, and Phoenix. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent for the national sample and about +/- 5.6 percent for the oversample markets, all reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge is a streamlined investment service that provides access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the convenience of Bank of America banking. With Merrill Edge, clients can view their Merrill Edge investment and Bank of America bank accounts on one page online. They also have access to easy-to-use tools, actionable insights, one-on-one guidance and competitive pricing for online trades.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 15,900 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users and more than 22 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news, and click here to register for news email alerts.

www.bankofamerica.com 

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Edge® is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured

     Are Not Bank Guaranteed

     May Lose Value

© 2017 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Reporters May Contact:
Susan Atran, Bank of America, 1.646.743.0791
susan.atran@bankofamerica.com