Heightened Retirement Concerns Having Greater Impact on Investment Plans


Retirement concerns in April are heightened among affluent investors. Twenty percent said that retirement is the primary factor affecting their investment plans, up from 13 percent in January.

Affluent investors are, not surprisingly, less secure than their wealthier counterparts in their retirement preparedness. In a first quarter Spectrem Group wealth level of non-Millionaires with a net worth of between $500K and $999K (not including primary residence), just over half expressed concerns about being able to retire when they want to, compared with 37 percent of Millionaire households.

Several recent national studies find that Americans are not saving enough for retirement. The most recent, released in April by the Employee Benefit Retirement Institute, found a decrease in American workers with retirement savings (65 percent, down from 75 percent six years ago).  Nearly three-in-ten report they have less than $1,000 saved for their retirement.

In the Spectrem Group study, nearly four-in-ten affluent Millennials ages 35 and under report they are not saving enough to reach their financial goals. An equal percentage of respondents ages 46-54 supplied the same response.  The same demographics expressed near equal concern about the current amount of their household debt (34 percent and 31 percent, respectively).

But Market Conditions continue to be a primary focus of affluent investors.  The largest percentage (33 percent) of affluent investors surveyed in April by Spectrem Group cite this as the primary factor most affecting their current investment plans. This is basically unchanged from three months ago when this question was last asked, but up slightly from April 2014 (31 percent).

In addition to continued speculation about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, markets roiled this month at news of Greece’s financial crisis as that country moved close to default. Mid-month, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 280 points following an earlier 300-point drop. At the time, it was barely in the black for 2015.

Further volatility is forecast in conjunction with the Federal Open Markets Committee two-day meeting scheduled for the April.

Affluent investors also expressed concern about the political climate, household income and the overall economic environment, but these have scant impact on their current investment plans, they said.


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