If you’re looking for optimism among defined contribution plan participants, look at millennials.
That’s according to Spectrem Group’s “Financial Behaviors and the Participant’s Mindset” study, which found that younger participants are optimistic about their financial situation over the coming year—but older participants are not.
Among baby boomers, WWII participants, and GenXers, just a third said they believed that their children will have more assets than they do when those children reach the same age.
And fewer than half of boomers and GenXers are confident that they’ll be able to retire when they want; they’re also worried about having enough assets to last throughretirement. Those who are extremely worried cite health care and taxes as their two chief concerns.
Retirement plan providers, the study said, will find that their own roles are changing.
They not only have to act as educators and communicators for retirement savings but, to be successful, will also have to expand their roles so that they can provide participants with a more holistic understanding of the entire retirement process, including subjects traditionally outside providers’ expertise.
Participants did report some improvement in their financial situation over the past year, but again, improvement was mostly among millennials, 70 percent of whom indicated that they are better off now.
Just 47 percent of WWII participants said that they are better off now. And while 84 percent of millennials say that next year will be even better, only 43 percent of the older generation agreed.
Only 49 percent of participants overall think they’ll have enough money to last through retirement—but surprisingly enough, 64 percent of millennials and 65 percent of WWII participants think so, compared with only 39 percent of GenXers. Health care costs are the chief reason they feel they may fall short.
Most participants feel they’ll have less than $1 million in investable assets when they retire; of those, 36 percent say they’ll have less than $500,000, while 35 percent think they’ll have between $500,000 and $1 million. Fifty-seven percent say that a greater income will give them the biggest financial boost, while 49 percent say that cutting spending and budgeting more tightly will improve their wealth position.
And while 41 percent of plan participants think their kids are better at investing than they are, 35 percent say their kids spend more than they themselves did,
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