Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
Merrill Lynch announces the findings
of a new study that reveals how
envision their retirement coming decades of their lives
"The New Retirement Survey," conducted for Merrill Lynch by Harris
InteractiveŽ in collaboration with Age Wave, builds upon
conventional wisdom that boomers are not interested in pursuing a
traditional retirement of leisure.
The majority of boomers relate they plan to keep working and earning
in retirement, but will do so by cycling between periods of work and
leisure, thus creating a new model of retirement.
boomers fundamentally will reinvent retirement, and this has
profound implications for how we at Merrill Lynch need to advise
this generation of clients - individuals as well as retirement plan
sponsors," said James P. Gorman, President of the Global Private
Client Group. "With boomers living longer and remaining engaged and
employed beyond age 65, many of the traditional financial
assumptions regarding retirement need to be reexamined. This survey
provides a useful starting point."
The New Retirement Survey offers a complex and illuminating preview
of the kind of lifestyles, workstyles and recreation activities that
boomers envision for their future.
With guidance from noted gerontologist and author Ken Dychtwald,
Ph.D., it offers unparalleled insight into the hopes, fears and
motivations of this influential generation, as well as the coming
impact on retirement, work, recreation, marriage, family,
healthcare, housing, entitlements and the economy.
new retirement "turning point." While 76% of boomers intend to keep
working and earning in retirement, on average they expect to
"retire" from their current job/career at around 64 and then launch
into an entirely new job or career.
Taking advantage of their "longevity bonus," boomers will create a
whole new life stage.
Social Security established the "normal" retirement age at 65, life
expectancy for a 65-year-old has increased by over seven years and
continues to lengthen. As a result of living longer, this generation
plans to be "younger" longer and work longer. Most boomers (65%)
will stop working for pay and retire in the traditional sense at
some point. However, that phase is more likely to begin in the late
60's, rather than at age 60 or 65.
Boomers reject a life of either full-time leisure or full-time work.
When probed about their ideal work arrangement in retirement, the
most common choice among boomers would be to repeatedly "cycle"
between periods of work and leisure (42%), followed by part-time
work (16%), start their own business (13%) and full-time work (6%).
Only 17% hope to never work for pay again.
It's not about the money.
37% of the boomer generation indicate that continued earnings is a
very important part of the reason they intend to keep working, 67%
assert that continued mental stimulation and challenge is what will
motivate them to stay in the game.
The transformation of the "me" generation into the "we" generation.
The "me" generation has grown up - now with
deep concerns for the well-being of their children, their parents
and their communities. Boomers are now ten times more likely to "put
others first" (43%) than "put themselves first" (4%).
unpredictable cost of illness and healthcare is by far boomers'
biggest fear. They are three times more worried about a major
illness (48%), their ability to pay for healthcare (53%) or winding
up in a nursing home (48%), than about dying (17%).
Boomer women are better educated, more independent, are
simultaneously juggling more work and family responsibilities and
are more financially engaged than any generation in history.
Married boomer women are more than six times more likely to share
responsibility for savings and investments compared to their
mothers' generation (33% now vs. 5% then).
Boomer women are dreaming of retiring to Mars while boomer men hope
to retire to Venus. Boomer men are looking forward to working less,
relaxing more, and spending more time with their spouse. While
boomer women view the dual liberations of empty nesting and
retirement as providing new opportunities for career development,
community involvement and continued personal growth.
Financial preparedness is the gateway to retirement freedom and the
antidote to retirement phobia.
Accumulating the resources boomers believe they need for retirement
freedom (81%), rather than age (56%) or any other variable, was
cited as the most decisive factor for when they choose to retire.
And, recognizing the growing uncertainty of government entitlements,
boomers who have a plan and feel prepared are twice as optimistic
and far less fearful compared with those who do not.
One size doesn't fit all.
it comes to retirement dreams and preparedness, there are five
distinct and different boomer segments: the "Empowered
Trailblazers," the "Wealth-Builders," the "Leisure Lifers," the
"Anxious Idealists" and the "Stretched and Stressed." The survey
revealed how each group is doing, their plans and ambitions for
later life, their level of financial preparedness and how they
intend to fund their future dreams.
"The results of this visionary study provide an unprecedented
preview into the future of this influential generation.
there are some problem areas, it appears that boomer men and women
are generally optimistic, innovative and hopeful - and they're
definitely gearing up for a new model of retirement," said Dychtwald,
co-author of the survey and president of Age Wave. "We asked boomers
for their hopes, fears and thoughts about retirement and what we got
was the systematic dismantling of all of our preconceptions about
the future, for not only this generation, but for nearly all of
Approaches to financial preparedness must be transformed
rejecting traditional retirement and planning to work or cycle
between work and leisure, boomers will have increased earning,
savings and investment compounding years. And they will not have to
tap retirement savings as their primary source of income until much
later than is usually promoted.
"Boomers pioneering this 'new retirement' can readily attain their
financial goals. It starts with savings, but it requires a new
planning model that considers all of the elements of their
retirement dream, as well as their total financial picture," said
Michael Falcon, chief operating officer of the Merrill Lynch
Retirement Group. "This new approach to retirement offers individual
investors and retirement plan participants significant benefits as
they can take advantage of additional years of compounding
investment returns and fewer years of distribution; thereby making
retirement savings goals more attainable."
New planning illustrator shows yesterday's calculators are outdated
Merrill Lynch also unveiled today the new Retirement Illustrator,
located at totalmerrill.com/retirement. The New Retirement
Illustrator is an online calculator that illustrates how a new phase
that balances work and leisure, changes all financial planning
elements. It reflects a departure from a time when an advisor could
insert a client's simple financial profile into a calculator to
determine assets at a particular point in the future when they could
be drawn down upon. That model fails to capture the complexity of
boomers' lives particularly that they may want and be able to earn
partial incomes after their retirement "turning point."
Another component of the totalmerrill.com/retirement Web site,
called "Explore," looks at retirement dreams from a lifestyle
perspective, asking questions like: "What drives you in terms of
Do you seek additional education?" There is also a "Learn"
component that helps boomers map out the advice and planning they
need, from investments and financing to personal banking and estate
Harris InteractiveŽ fielded the online and telephone survey for
Merrill Lynch and Ken Dychtwald, between February 5 and March 1,
2004 among a nationwide cross section of 2,348 U.S. adults ages
40-58 of whom 1,061 were men and 1,287 were women. Data were
weighted to reflect the total U.S. adult population ages 40-58 for
age, sex, race, region, education and household income. For the
telephone survey, data were weighted for the number of
voice/telephone lines in the household. For the online survey,
propensity score weighting was done to adjust for respondents'
propensity to be online.
theory, with samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent
certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling
error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Sampling errors for the
results of the following sub-samples: men (1,061), women (1,287) and
married women (763) are higher and vary. The online sample is not a
about The New Retirement Survey
Merrill Lynch, in an effort to better understand boomers, their
aspirations, the financial implications of those aspirations, and to
better serve this market segment undertook a major research effort
with the help of Ken Dychtwald and Harris InteractiveŽ. The results,
The New Retirement Survey at Merrill Lynch, are an important step in
Merrill Lynch's ongoing, long-term commitment to serve the complete
financial needs of this generation. For more information on this
survey, please visit totalmerrill.com/retirement.
is one of the world's leading financial management and advisory
companies, with offices in 36 countries and total client assets of
approximately $1.6 trillion.
investment bank, it is a leading global underwriter of debt and
equity securities and strategic advisor to corporations,
governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill
Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest
managers of financial assets. Firmwide, assets under management
total $501 billion. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please
was created in 1986 to guide leading companies and government groups
worldwide in product and service development - geared to aging
boomer and mature population segments.
The company's far reaching explorations and innovative solutions
have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors
from vitamins and cookies to automotive design and retail
merchandising to mutual funds and health insurance. Age Wave's
services include groundbreaking primary and secondary research,
cutting-edge brainstorming, business development guidance and a wide
range of highly acclaimed presentations, communications and
Harris Interactive Inc.,
the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the
world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that
blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient
methods of investigation, analysis and application.
Known for The Harris PollŽ and for pioneering
Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts
proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear,
material and enduring results.
Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and
technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and
wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe Paris-based
Novatris, Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly
acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and
consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an
independent global network of affiliate market research companies.