South Florida Residents Envision Financial Stress in Retirement, Retirees Worry-Free
Merrill Edge® Survey Finds Area Retirees Prove Saving Is Key to Financially Calm Golden Years
Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) South Florida respondents expect to be stressed about money in retirement based on how they are currently saving, according to a new survey released today by Bank of America and Merrill Edge. The latest Merrill Edge® Report reveals that while non-retirees are anticipating stress, the majority (62 percent) of retirees in the area are not stressed about finances in retirement based on how they saved.
Despite predicting stress, two-thirds of non-retired South Floridians believe they will have enough money in retirement due to how they are saving for it, while the vast majority of retired respondents (87 percent) report that they will have enough money for the rest of retirement because of how they saved for it before they retired.
“Living or retiring in South Florida can be very rewarding, but it can also be very expensive,” said Andrew Wilson, regional sales manager at Merrill Edge. “Being secure in your retirement requires having a firm picture of what your lifestyle will be like, an expert plan to reaching that vision, and a realistic look at your spending and investing options.”
Pursuing an ideal retirement without financial stress
Part of a biannual nationwide survey, the study explores opinions of South Florida residents with investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000 and finds that balancing today’s pleasures with tomorrow’s treasures continues to be a challenge for South Floridians. When asked about their financial priorities, 62 percent focus on living comfortably for today, while 54 percent are focused on saving more for the future.
Nationally, the Merrill Edge Report finds most non-retired respondents agree that an ideal retirement is one that is not spent worrying about money (77 percent) and is overall stress-free (70 percent). South Florida respondents who have yet to reach retirement are taking action to live stress-free like today’s retirees, but could do more to emulate strategies that retired Americans employed to ensure that their golden years were less worrisome:
- Today, the most popular actions that non-retired South Florida residents are taking to live a stress-free retirement are funding retirement accounts (52 percent) and paying off debt (51 percent). Contributing to a retirement account (48 percent) and paying off debt (40 percent) were also some of the most common measures that retirees took to reduce strain in retirement before reaching that stage.
- However, nearly four in 10 (36 percent) area retirees preemptively worked with a financial advisor to be stress-free when they did retire, and only 31 percent of non-retired area respondents are doing this with the same goal in mind.
- Similarly, only 30 percent of South Floridians who have yet to reach retirement are investing in a non-retirement account to reduce stress; whereas, nearly four in 10 (38 percent) area retirees proactively invested as much as they could outside of a retirement account.
Financial fears lead to positive financial actions
According to the survey, while the majority of non-retired South Florida residents are actively investing for retirement, nearly one-quarter (22 percent) would still be embarrassed if their family and friends knew intimate details of their finances, including retirement savings (10 percent), credit score (8 percent) and checking account balance (7 percent).
Along similar lines, 37 percent of national respondents feel that they lag behind their peers in terms of financial stability, saving for the future or current income. However, these shortfalls also appear to be a catalyst for better financial planning. Area retirees and non-retirees alike have felt motivated to make positive financial decisions due to financial stress (20 percent) and the successes or failures of their parents (19 percent).
South Floridians conveyed this importance with 35 percent of retirees meeting their goals by ensuring a spouse saved or invested (17 percent nationally), and 39 percent of respondents listing providing for others, such as children or an elderly parent, as a financial priority today (30 percent nationally).
For more in-depth information about the financial behaviors and priorities of mass affluent Americans, read the entire Spring 2015 Merrill Edge Report or take our poll here. See the corresponding infographic here.
Merrill Edge Survey Methodology
Braun Research, Inc. conducted a nationally-representative telephone survey on behalf of Merrill Edge. The survey was conducted from March 12, 2015, through March 24, 2015, and consisted of 1,000 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 to $250,000 or those aged 18 to 34 who have investable assets of between $20,000 and under $50,000 with an annual income of at least $50,000; or aged 35-plus with investable assets between $50,000 to $250,000. We conducted an oversampling of 300 mass affluents in the following markets: San Francisco; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Dallas; the State of New Jersey; South Florida; Chicago; and Phoenix. The markets of Chicago and Phoenix were newly-surveyed this wave. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percent for the national sample; about +/- 5.7 percent for the oversample markets, all reported at a 95 percent confidence level.
Merrill Edge is a streamlined investment service that provides customers access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the convenience of Bank of America banking to help simplify their financial life. With Merrill Edge, customers can see their Merrill Edge investment and Bank of America bank accounts on one page online, along with access to tools, research, support and competitive pricing for online trades. If customers prefer to receive professional advice and guidance to help simplify pursuing their investment goals, Merrill Edge Roadmap™ allows them to work one-on-one with a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™. Financial Solutions Advisors work with customers to design a personalized action plan with specific recommendations tailored to their investment needs.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest 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 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail financial centers and approximately 15,900 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 17 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in 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.
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