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Nearly One Quarter of Affluent Americans
Find Retirement Planning Difficult
BOSTON, April 1, 2008
/PRNewswire/ -- At a time when the need for
retirement planning has never been greater
for individuals and families, a major
roadblock exists for many Americans around
starting and eventually navigating through the
process, according to a national survey
released today by Bank of America.
In a survey of
approximately 1,000 people across the
country, the Bank of America survey captured
responses on an array of related topics.
Among the findings: Nearly
one-third (30%) of Americans say that
starting retirement planning is difficult --
as many as those who say it is difficult to
start a fitness routine (29%) or a diet
Only one in three (33%)
Americans report that they are on track with
their retirement planning efforts, and
nearly one quarter (23%) report that they
have not started planning at all.
"Bank of America
understands that retirement planning can be
challenging," said Jeffrey Carney,
president, Bank of America Retirement and
Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM)
"Many individuals don't
know where to begin or how much they need to
save. We are committed to helping make
retirement planning as understandable and
effortless as possible for individuals by
providing straightforward tools and
comprehensive guidance-based solutions."
The survey, conducted by
Braun Research, sampled the general public
and "affluent Americans," identified as
individuals with investable assets between
$100,000 and $3 million.
The survey confirmed that
a significant number of Americans encounter
challenges when planning for retirement.
difficulty with respect to determining the
types of investments they should make (42%),
how much they will need to retire
comfortably (40%), when to retire (33%) and
where to begin (32%).
Familiarity Does Not Always Equate With
The survey also uncovered
that despite Americans' general familiarity
with retirement products, many are still not
taking full advantage of them.
For example, although most
Americans (79%) reported being familiar with
401(k) plans, of those with access, 22
percent do not participate
Additionally, 68 percent
of Americans report being familiar with
IRAs; however, only 40 percent report having
one. Roth IRAs have less familiarity with
one in two Americans (51%) reported being
"not at all knowledgeable" with Roth IRAs.
Additionally, less than
half of Americans with IRAs (43%) fund them each year.
"Americans clearly need
guidance and education regarding how much of
their pre-tax annual income they will need
to maintain a similar lifestyle in
retirement," said Dan McNamara, Retirement
Products Group Executive,
Bank of America.
"A 401(k), 403(b), pension
plan, IRA or Social Security is
typically not enough to
enable individuals to reach their retirement
Americans Struggling With Retirement
While affluent Americans
experience fewer roadblocks to retirement
planning, they share similar frustrations
with the general public.
Approximately one third
(34%) of affluent Americans reported
difficulty with identifying appropriate
retirement investments, and nearly one
quarter (24%) struggle with knowing how much
they will need to retire comfortably.
This compares to 42% and
40% respectively for the general consumer
Affluent Americans are
familiar with retirement products in greater
numbers than the general population with 84
percent reporting they are familiar with
traditional IRAs, and 62 percent reporting
they are familiar with Roth IRAs; however,
only 56 percent currently incorporate an IRA
their retirement planning.
While affluent Americans
are more likely to have an IRA than the
general population, they are no more likely
to fund it annually. The survey revealed
that only 43% of both affluent Americans and
the general public with IRAs fund them
survey also revealed that most affluent
Americans are addressing economic
uncertainty by modifying their expenses in
the short term, and maintaining their
retirement investing for the long term.
The survey revealed 57
percent of affluent Americans are changing
their spending habits based on current
For example, nearly half
(48%) are spending less on traveling and
vacationing, or shopping (45%). However,
nearly three quarters
(73%) of affluent Americans report they have
not changed the allocation of their
"Our survey confirms that
consumer spending is tightening,
contributing to the country's economic
downturn," said Lynn Reaser, economist and
retirement strategist, Bank of America.
"The best way to protect
retirement savings in volatile times is to
remain diversified and maintain a long-term
to Retirement Planning
Bank of America, through
its affiliates Bank of America, N.A. and
Banc of America Investment Services, Inc.,
offers a variety of tools to help customers
understand and reach their retirement goals.
Funding an employer
sponsored savings plan, such as a 401(k) or
403(b) plan, is a great first step for
retirement planning. Consumers can build
upon this foundation with
a traditional Individual
Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA or
Rollover IRA, which provide consumers with a
vehicle to grow retirement contributions
either tax-deferred or federal income
tax-free depending on the account type
Through the power of
have the opportunity to
generate substantial income over time with
diversified IRA investments.
Individuals can learn
about various IRA options on Bank of
America's interactive microsite,
The site provides
easy-to-understand explanations of how IRAs
work and the differences among IRAs.
Individuals can also use Bank of America's
Personal Retirement Number
Calculator to see how much
they will need to maintain their
pre-retirement lifestyle throughout
retirement and what steps they can take to
help achieve their retirement goals.
Consumers can also enter
one of 6,100 Bank of America, N.A. banking
centers across the country, or call a Banc
of America Investment Services, Inc.
Financial Advisor to start or enhance their
retirement planning today.
The survey was conducted
by Braun Research via telephone using a
random digit dial methodology between the
dates of March 7-13, 2008. 750
Americans were surveyed, with a margin of
error of +/- 3.6%, plus 250 individuals with
investable assets between $100,000 and $3
million with a margin of error of +/- 6.2%.
The survey sample totaled 1,000 Americans.
Bank of America is one of
the world's largest financial institutions,
serving individual consumers, small and
middle market businesses and large
corporations with a full range of banking,
investing, asset management and
other financial and
risk-management products and services.
The company provides
unmatched convenience in the United States,
serving more than 59 million consumer and
small business relationships with more than
retail banking offices,
nearly 19,000 ATMs and award-winning online
banking with nearly 24 million active users.
Bank of America is the No.
1 overall Small Business Administration
(SBA) lender in the United States and the
No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small
businesses. The company serves clients in
175 countries and has relationships with 99
percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies
and 83 percent of the Global Fortune 500.
Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:
BAC) is listed on the New York Stock