When it comes to Baby Boomers and retirement preparedness, a little self-restraint and planning makes a big impact on success, according to a new
Investor Index Survey
released by TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD).
The survey was conducted among both non-retired and semi- or fully-retired Baby Boomers and unveiled key characteristics and behavioral differences among respondents who consider themselves financially prepared for retirement (“Prepared”) and those who reported they are financially unprepared for retirement (“Unprepared”).
Successful Boomers are Conservative, Even in Good Times
More than half (54%) of Prepared Boomers reported that when times are good financially, they remain conservative with their money, compared to just 35 percent of Unprepared Boomers who reported the same. Similarly, 41 percent of Unprepared Boomers admitted they are more carefree with their money when times are good, compared to just 30 percent of Prepared Boomers. And when asked if they tend to be patient and plan things carefully, 53 percent of Prepared Boomers agreed, compared to 38 percent of Unprepared Boomers.
“Financial discipline for anyone is tough, and it’s especially challenging for Boomers who grew up during a time when self-realization and fulfillment was the norm,” said
, managing director, investment products and retirement, TD Ameritrade. “Despite the challenges, it’s imperative that all Americans embrace a more regimented approach to saving for retirement if they expect to be prepared for the future.”
Financial Success Impacted by Personal Choices, Parental Communication
Overall, Prepared Boomers seemed to make better financial choices than those Boomers who did not successfully prepare for retirement. They started saving significantly earlier than Unprepared Boomers (median age 30 versus 35). They’re also significantly more likely to save for retirement by having money automatically deducted from their pay than those who are Unprepared (74% vs. 54%).
However, it’s worth noting that Prepared Boomers were slightly more likely to have family who could help fund college expenses or a new home compared to Unprepared Boomers. Unprepared Boomers also reported having greater than average health care expenses.