San Francisco’s New Retirement: Not Retiring
Merrill Edge® Report Questions Whether or Not Retirement Is Near Extinction, Explores Residents’ Ideas Toward Retirement Savings
The majority (78 percent) of today’s San Francisco labor force expects they will continue to work during retirement, whether for income, to keep busy or pursue a passion. This is a stark contrast to the 80 percent of area retirees, who are not currently working or never have during their golden years.
The latest Merrill Edge® Report – a biannual survey of 1,000 mass affluent Americans1, which oversampled 300 San Francisco residents between September 24 and October 5, 2016 – reveals a twist in how today’s younger generations will plan and save for their later years. Twenty-three percent of area respondents believe they need to take on a side job to reach their retirement goals.
“Attitudes are shifting, and retirement as we know it today may no longer exist in the coming years,” said Alexandra Wlassowsky, business development manager for Merrill Edge. “No matter what San Francisco residents have in store for the future, it’s important they take action today to develop a retirement savings plan, working toward long-term financial goals and not just a number.”
Growing uncertainty and insecurity around savings
In line with the national findings, the report also reveals many San Francisco residents are unable to articulate their “magic number” – the amount of money they need to live their desired retirement, and those who can are underestimating the amount.
When asked what their magic number for retirement is, 37 percent don’t anticipate needing more than $1 million, and 7 percent simply “don’t know.” Seventy-one percent of today’s retirees said they did not have a number in mind before they retired.
What’s more, one in five respondents cite they need to win the lottery in order to reach their financial goals in retirement.
Increasing self-reliance with investment decisions
Despite this uncertainty, San Francisco residents still prefer to rely on themselves for their investment approach (57 percent), and only 22 percent believe they need to hire a financial advisor in order to live the retirement they want.
When asked why they are saving for retirement, many area residents cite to afford daily life (68 percent) and take care of family (45 percent).
1 Merrill Edge Survey Methodology
Braun Research, Inc. conducted a nationally representative telephone survey on behalf of Merrill Edge. The survey was conducted from September 24, 2016 through October 5, 2016, and consisted of 1,045 mass affluent respondents throughout the U.S., defined as individuals with investable assets (value of all cash, savings, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, stock, bonds and all other types of investments excluding primary home and other real estate investments). 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. We conducted an oversampling of 300 mass affluents in the following markets: San Francisco; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Dallas; New Jersey; South Florida; Chicago; Atlanta; and Phoenix. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percent for the national sample and about +/- 5.7 percent for the oversample markets, all reported at a 95 percent confidence level.
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