Affluent feel prepared for retirement; but they're concerned about the kids

Affluent investors are confident they are prepared for retirement, but are less optimistic of how their children will fare in their post-work years, a John Hancock  Financial survey found.

Fulfilling an American aspiration that each generation would be better than the previous one, 60 percent said they expected to have a more comfortable retirement than their parents, about a third said it would be the same and 9 percent expected it to be worse.

The data, culled from the fourth quarter 2013 John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a quarterly poll of affluent investors, found more concern about the future of investors’ children. One-third of investors said they thought their children would be worse off they would be, 40 percent about the same and 30 percent better.

“Our survey findings underscore the importance for parents to encourage savings, preparation and planning when discussing finances with their children and family members,” said Bill Cheney, John Hancock's chief economist.  “Learning about and setting up retirement and college savings plans can go a long way toward building confidence and financial security.” 

Worries about their family members’ finances extended to investors’ own retirement plans. A quarter said they supporting their children or an elderly parent was a concern.

Figuring out what to do in retirement can be tricky after years of heading off each to work. The responses to the John Hancock survey were not specific.

Half of those surveyed by John Hancock said they envisioned spending their time as they chose, 35 percent said they saw themselves relaxing and spending time with family and friends, while 20 percent said they expected to continue to do the work they enjoy best. One-third said they were worried about starting retirement with debts to pay off.

The number of people who plan to work during retirement has grown since the Great Recession started. The trend was found among affluent investors, 44 percent of whom said they’d continue to hold a job for pay or as a volunteer.

More than a third (36 percent) of those who plan to work said they were likely to get a part-time job different from the one they now hold, while 28 percent said they’d continue at their present employer in a reduced capacity. Sixteen percent would do volunteer or charity work.

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