While the U.S. economy has accelerated in the last year, Americans 55 and older – many of whom saw their retirements stung by the financial crisis – are course-correcting their lifestyle plans, work/leisure expectations and investing strategies, according to a study released today by AIG Life and Retirement in collaboration with Age Wave.
According to the AIG Retirement Re-Set Study, 72% of the survey respondents said the recent economic uncertainty provided a “financial wake-up call.” And 80% of those 55 and older said they are now more cautious in their approach to investing. They are far more likely to seek financial peace of mind as a key goal versus potentially higher – but riskier – returns.
“Americans are rightfully concerned about retirement and more careful in their investment strategies,” said Jay Wintrob, President and CEO of AIG Life and Retirement. “The 2008 global financial crisis provided a financial wake-up call that people have taken to heart. They are now seeking a safer and more predictable road to retirement, one with less risk and more financial security.”
“In a new era of flux and uncertainty, Americans are rebounding from a difficult period and showing their resilience by turning toward greater expense control and more responsible retirement planning,” said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave. “Lessons learned have not been forgotten. Many people are adapting a new retirement mindset and are choosing to work a bit longer, thereby helping to make retirement more affordable. They are re-setting their sights on a revised, more achievable path to retirement.”The 2012 survey, conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive among 3,426 respondents aged 55 or older, follows last year’s noteworthy study which unearthed a new approach to post-recession retirement strategies. AIG Life and Retirement and Age Wave first partnered in 2001 on a groundbreaking Re-Visioning Retirement Survey. This year’s survey found that more than four times as many people chose saving enough to have “financial peace of mind” (61%) as a top financial priority compared to accumulating as much wealth as possible (14%).