A recent survey confirms that there is no single path to retirement.
Franklin Templeton’s June 2021 “Voice of the American Worker” survey confirms that retirement today feels “less cookie cutter than it used to be,” according to 82% of those polled.
The survey found that individuals can benefit from personalized guidance to achieve their financial goals — an area where a financial advisor can help. The survey also showed that many participants are looking to their employers for more tools and resources. But most of all, the survey found that the way participants think about retirement is changing.
A More Holistic View of Financial Well-Being
The vast majority of survey respondents associate their current physical (74%), mental (70%), and financial (66%) health with well-being. More than half say their financial well-being isn’t primarily about money but includes their health and lifestyle (57%). Interestingly, while workers today place nearly equal importance on mental (81%), physical (80%), and financial (76%) health, they feel the least in control of their financial (55%) health as compared to their physical (62%) and mental (58%) health.
The Future of Workplace Benefits
Three out of four workers want their workplace to provide more resources to help them with their overall financial well-being (75%), believing their employer should provide incentives for good financial habits (79%) — as well as good health habits (78%). In fact, workers are more interested in long-term support over today’s monetary gains, with most preferring a boosted 401(k) match to a raise.
Nine in 10 respondents are also looking for tools to visualize their future and optimize well-being, with top choices being planning tools and resources (89%). Tools designed to help achieve financial independence (35%) and visualize long- and short-term financial goals side by side (35%) top their wish list.
The Changing Retirement Landscape
Eighty percent of respondents agree that the traditional idea of retirement is no longer accurate for most people’s expectations or experiences, while at the same time, three quarters (75%) say that their future financial goals and plans look different today than they did five years ago.
Respondents also feel it is more important to achieve financial freedom than to retire but that financial freedom is not always as attainable. More specifically, 76% of respondents say there is appeal in achieving financial freedom, whereas only 56% think it is likely achievable. At the same time, 69% say there is appeal in retirement, whereas 61% say it is likely achievable — a notably smaller gap.
Workers identified their most important financial milestones today as financial freedom (76%) and financial independence (74%), also indicating that financial independence feels more empowering than retirement (81%). Women find financial independence particularly appealing (81% vs. 68% men).
Heartland Retirement Plan Services are offered through Dubuque Bank and Trust Company. The information provided herein is general in nature and is not intended to be nor should be construed as specific investment, legal or tax advice. The factual information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Heartland Retirement Plan Services makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, it. Products offered through Heartland Retirement Plan Services are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and may lose value, unless otherwise noted.