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

Americans Live for Today Rather Than for Retirement

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet) Americans live for today but worry about tomorrow. Even though many of us fear running out of money during retirement, we are unwilling to change our current spending habits, according to a Merrill Lynch survey of "mass affluent" individuals with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets. Having enough money to live "in the here and now" is a bigger priority for most of those surveyed (63%) than saving more for the future (48%).

Also See: Roth IRAs Give Millennials Welcome Perks

While many fear losing a job (37%), public speaking (27%) or gaining weight (25%) most (55%) worry about not having enough money to last throughout retirement. But few will reduce outlays for entertainment, eating out or vacations to save more money for life after work. However, most parents will cut spending in order to help their children -- more than one-third (35%) say they have withdrawn funds from their savings or investment accounts to help their kids out during a financial bind.

"Many mass affluent investors are taking more of a "live for today" financial approach than you might expect given their fear of running out of money in retirement," said Aron Levine of Bank of America. "That type of disconnect might have a significant impact on the long-term financial well-being of these investors."

Also See: Are Our Caveman Roots Preventing Us From Effective Retirement Planning?

This "carpe diem" disposition is deep rooted: even if they were to receive an unexpected million-dollars, less than one in five (19%) say they would make it a priority to set aside the windfall for retirement.

Over two-thirds (68%) of survey participants who are divorced say they are worried about not having enough money during retirement, compared to 53% of those who are single, married or widowed.

And in matters of love and money, these upscale Americans are most likely to be attracted to someone with an appealing sense of humor (74%) or to a mate they have chemistry with (66%), rather than financial stability (49%) or money saved (20%). Though women are more than twice as likely as men to be attracted to someone with a stable job (51% vs. 24%) and almost twice as likely to be attracted to someone who has financial stability (64% vs. 33%).

Millennials (18-34 adults) are more than twice as likely as other age groups to be attracted to someone who has some money saved (37%) while Gen-Xers (35-50) are more likely to be drawn to people who have financial stability (59%).

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

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 $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs