When National Concerns Replace Personal Concerns



Assuming retirement comes with aging, there are many personal problems which fade away and disappear as people approach the age at which they stop working.

Older people don’t worry about financing the education of their children and grandchildren (although they may be assisting in the financing for the grandchildren). They are not worried about losing their job; they dropped that concern when they retired. They no longer have to worry about when they are going to retire and whether they are going to be able to retire; those decisions have already been made.

Those personal concerns have been replaced by a slew of new issues which can all be placed into one envelope: health. These concerns go beyond their current health status and extend into future health costs, future personal care and the inevitability of passing away.

At the same time, retirees have more free time to worry about issues outside of their home life. Older investors are much more likely to pay attention to national concerns revolving around the economy, politics and global relationships.

For advisors working with older investors, or even the upper end of the middle-aged investors, there must be acknowledgement that personal concerns are going to be changing over time. It is imperative that the portfolios of older investors reflect their changing concerns.

In Spectrem’s new study Evolving Investor Attitudes and Behaviors, retired investors reported the topics about which they care more than working investors, as well as the topics about which they care less.

From a personal standpoint, retired investors care most about “the health of my spouse” (65 percent) and “my own health” (60 percent). For working investors, the concern level is near or at 50 percent for each of those topics.

Fifty percent of retired investors care about whether they will spend their financial years in a care facility, and 47 percent worry about having someone around to care for them in their old age.

Advisors are not doctors and cannot examine or treat clients to alleviate health concerns, but they can look at client portfolios to determine if they are accessible to family members and the funds are available to clients if they need them in case of a health emergency.

From a national perspective, the issues about which retired investors care more than working investors is the political environment (88 percent to 74 percent for working investors), and government gridlock (80 percent to 58 percent). The upcoming Presidential election is a concern for 81 percent of retired investors compared to just 68 percent of working investors.

Once again, advisors cannot alleviate these concerns, but they can place a retired investor’s portfolio so that their concern does not carry with it a concern over whether their portfolio is vulnerable to political issues being discussed in Washington, D.C.



©2020 Spectrem Group



Keywords: national concerns, personal concerns, investors, advisors, Spectrem, attitudes