This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Characteristics of the Best Retirement Savers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What do the best retirement savers have in common?

Another other attributes: a positive outlook, a commitment to saving today for tomorrow and the ability to "envision" a comfortable and secure retirement.

If there was one word that best describes the top savers, it might be "confidence," according to an annual retirement survey from BlackRock, the New York investment management firm.

"When workers feel empowered, confident and positive about the savings process, they will actually save more for retirement than workers who don't feel that way," says Chip Castille, managing director at BlackRock's U.S. and Canada defined contribution group.

BlackRock leads off its survey with some disturbing, but not uncommon news: Americans just aren't saving enough. While BlackRock advises workers to save at least 15% of their salary toward retirement, few do. According to the study, about 65% of Americans save 10% or less, and 28% save 5% or less.

And only 25% of Americans say they are "confident" about achieving a secure retirement, BlackRock says.

Sure, this raises a chicken-or-egg question: Aren't they more confident about their retirement because they are already on the path to a comfortable one? But of those workers who do a good job saving for their post-career years, virtually all display at least one or more of the following "power saver" characteristics:

Confidence. BlackRock says that most great savers (defined by the firm as saving 11% or more of their annual income) are "empowered, confident and positive" about their direct ability to meet their retirement goals.

"Vision." The best power savers can actually see themselves enjoying retirement. Those workers who don't share the vision are in for an uphill climb. "Savers who are having trouble 'envisioning' the retirement they want to achieve are less successful as savers," Castille says, citing survey data that 39% of survey respondents who know what their retirement will look like qualify as "highly effective" savers.

Diligence. Keeping eyes on the prize is a habit of highly effective retirement savers too. "Being able to effectively chart one's progress toward their savings goal also offers invaluable support for saving," Castille says. 

Optimism. BlackRock says that "feeling hopeful" about achieving a cushy retirement is an attitude common to high-powered savers. Even if the guy down the block makes more money, a power saver still believes he or she will have more money in retirement, and will save at a "highly effective" rate for decades.

Openness. Top retirement savers are big on asking for "objective guidance" from experts (meaning a stockbroker, accountant, lawyer or financial adviser). Those workers who ask for professional help were much more likely to be power savers, BlackRock reports.

So there you go. If it's a comfortable retirement you want, be confident, be positive, track your progress regularly, and check with a financial services professional on a steady basis.

Saving 15% of your annual income every year won't hurt either.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $118.94 0.96%
FB $104.59 -0.82%
GOOG $748.03 -0.30%
TSLA $231.16 -0.19%
YHOO $33.49 1.70%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,781.36 -17.13 -0.10%
S&P 500 2,088.77 -1.34 -0.06%
NASDAQ 5,126.19 -1.3350 -0.03%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs