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Self-Directed Investors Show Remarkable Confidence In Reaching Retirement Goals

E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) today announced results from the most recent wave of its quarterly self-directed online investor tracking study.
  • 89 percent age 55-64 believe retirement is real and they will one day not need to work and be able to live comfortably.
  • 81 percent of the total population believes they will retire between the age of 55 and 74 — only 5 percent believe they will never retire.
  • 63 percent age 55-64 believe they won’t need to work at all in retirement.

"At first look this level of confidence may seem surprising,” said Lena Haas, SVP, Retirement, Investing and Saving at E*TRADE Financial. "But it’s important to remember that these are self-directed investors, and they are all about doing their homework, validating their thinking with professionals when they have a question, and executing a plan. Confidence is a direct result of this process — it’s about knowing that the steps you take today will set you up for tomorrow.”

Several data points also suggest that a successful strategy for these investors is simple yet disciplined: start early, use an online tool, make automatic contributions and don’t tap the well early.
  • 47 percent age 65+ wish they started to save earlier for retirement.
  • 81 percent have never taken out money from an IRA or 401(k) before the age of 59.5.
  • 55 percent of the total population recommends online tools that help determine monthly contributions, followed by talking with a professional (43 percent), attending in-person seminars (25 percent) and watching online tutorials (23 percent).
  • 63 percent of the total population believes automated contributions are better than periodically deciding how much you want to invest (37 percent).

“Discipline in investing is the best advice,” continued Haas. “What is striking is that while professional advice continues to be relevant, online tools are leading the pack on what's most helpful. This is a critical trend.

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