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ING U.S. Study Sheds Light On Peer Comparison And The Retirement 'State Of Savings' In America

WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to new research 1 from the ING Retirement Research Institute, more than half ( 52%) of the respondents in an ING U.S. consumer survey said they would be motivated to save more for retirement if their nest eggs didn't measure up to those of their peers.  Additionally, better than one-quarter ( 27%) confirmed that the size of their retirement account was an important attribute for benchmarking themselves against others—more significant than their material possessions ( 17%) and salary ( 16%).

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The urge to compare didn't stop in their golden years, either.  Study results showed that nearly two-out-of-ten people ( 19%) already in retirement still want to "keep up with the Joneses" when it comes to their quality of life and financial independence.

These findings support a growing trend noted by ING U.S. over the past three years through its pioneering, web-based peer comparison tool,  The tool, available to the public at no cost, allows users to compare themselves to others on a wide range of saving, spending, investing, debt and personal finance matters.  Users create an anonymous profile by entering some basic information.  They can also select categories such as hobbies, interests and where they live to align even more closely with their peer set.

"From restaurant reviews to healthcare referrals, consumers are increasingly scanning the social landscape for peer information and validation," noted Patrick Kennedy, chief marketing officer for ING U.S. Retirement.  "This is also true for personal finance matters, such as saving for retirement.  People are curious to know how they stack up to their counterparts, and a tool like can provide a helpful benchmark.  The data we collect can also be used to identify savings patterns and trends that support our broader goal of helping Americans retire in the manner they expect and deserve."

Since debuting in 2009, the site has received over 1.8 million visitors.  Approximately 60,000 users answered a combination of questions that captured their state of residence, their annual household income, the amount they've saved for retirement and the amount they anticipate needing to live a comfortable retirement.

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