Even affluent people don't save enough for retirement

A new survey by Natixis Global Asset Management found that even affluent people aren’t sure how much they need to save for retirement, lack money for investing and prefer to spend now rather than save for tomorrow.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans aren’t sure how much to save or invest for their future needs, including 30 percent of investors with $300,000 to $500,000 of assets. Twenty-two percent of those have more than $1 million in assets and 19 percent of them are over age 50.

Of the 463 investors surveyed, 32 percent of respondents with less than $1 million in investable assets, said they don’t have enough money to set aside savings. Sixteen percent of those with more than $1 million in assets and 19 percent of those over age 50 said the same.

The survey also found that one in five Americans, 18 percent, said they would rather spend their money now rather than put it aside for the future. Twenty-two percent of Americans with less than $500,000 in assets said they’d rather spend than save, compared to 13 percent of those with more than $1 million in assets.

“Too many Americans don’t know what they need to do to meet their goals, and that is limiting their ability to prepare for the future. They aren’t aware of the solutions available to them or simply don’t have enough money available to put toward savings,” said John Hailer, president and chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management – The Americas & Asia. “The combination could be harmful for Americans’ long-term financial health.”

“The fact that one in five Americans over age 50 don’t know how much to save is especially troubling, since many Baby Boomers will be retired for decades,” said Tracey Flaherty, senior vice president of retirement strategies for Natixis Global Asset Management. “It’s particularly urgent that these Americans build their savings now, to prepare for secure retirements.”

The volatile market over the past few years caused 47 percent of those surveyed to reduce their savings and investing because they didn’t want to risk losing money. Twenty-eight percent of investors rated their portfolios as “risky,” while 47 percent said they were “neutral” and 25 percent said they were “not risky.”

Perceptions of risk divided along wealth lines. Just 17 percent of those with more than $1 million in investable assets labeled their investment portfolios as “risky,” compared to 33 percent of those with less than $1 million. More men than women say their investments are “risky.”

When asked what motivates them to save, 48 percent said that providing for their families is their number one priority. Asset growth is the second choice and saving for their children’s education was third.

The Natixis Global Asset Management U.S. Investor Insights Survey was conducted by CoreData Research, which surveyed 463 American adults to better understand their investment attitudes, behavior and sentiments. The survey was conducted in May and July 2011. In addition, NGAM conducted qualitative interviews with investors in October 2011.

Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. is one of the 15 largest asset managers in the world based on assets under management.

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