It certainly isn’t the case for all American workers, but the respondents to a survey from T. Rowe Price are certainly in a good frame of mind about their potential for an ideal retirement.
The study, “Understanding Investor Attitudes Toward Retirement,” queried a pool of respondents constituting 2,001 individuals, age 36 or older, who are either retired or who have taken initial steps to prepare for retirement.
Among those still working, household income had a floor of $75,000, and respondents also had to have investable assets outside a 401(k), as well as total investable assets, including any 401(k)s, of $50,000 or more.
Nearly half of this fortunate group—47 percent—felt that their ideal retirement is very attainable, and another 45 percent believe it is somewhat attainable. Those who say their ideal retirement is not attainable offer a list of obstacles, including not having enough money, future health issues and/or family obligations.
They have lofty goals for that retirement, too, with 38 percent saying it will be a time to “relax and indulge” and 34 percent planning to reinvent themselves and learn or experience new things. Nineteen percent want to keep doing just what they’re doing for as long as possible, and 53 percent overall of the reinventor and status-quo groups plan a more active retirement.
Two percent, however, expect that it will be a difficult time, while 6 percent say they don’t know what to expect. (Two percent also say that their ideal retirement is “very unattainable,” and 6 percent say it’s “somewhat unattainable.”)
Men and women are looking at retirement differently, with women more looking forward to travel—at 76 percent—than men, at 64 percent.
But fewer women anticipate retirement as being so enjoyable, with only 36 percent describing it as a time to relax and indulge, compared with 40 percent of men, and just 44 percent of women saying their ideal retirement is very attainable, compared with 50 percent of men.
There’s also a mixed outlook on the potential for extended longevity.
Asked whether the prospect of an additional 30 years of retirement to plan for is a positive or a negative, more than half (55 percent) of respondents said an additional 30 years of life would be “both a blessing and a curse,” thanks to the possibility of health issues that could make that longer lifespan more of an ordeal than a reward.
GenXers, at 37 percent, were more likely to label it a blessing, compared with just 29 percent of baby boomers. And 45 percent of respondents are skeptical about having an extra 30 years of life, with 35 percent optimistic and 26 percent excited at the prospect.
In addition, GenXers are significantly more likely, at 73 percent, to say the “longevity bonus” will impact how they plan and save for retirement than, unsurprisingly, baby boomers at 62 percent. Both, however, say they would need to work longer in order to save more money.