Worried about outliving your money? Americans aren't alone
(MoneyWatch) Eighty-two percent of people worldwide are worried about how they will fare financially during retirement, according to the results of a recent survey of 15 countries by Accenture, a global consulting firm. The survey also showed that 53 percent of respondents lack the necessary information to prepare for retirement.
Although the responses varied by country (the survey included Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.), it's interesting to note that the lowest level of pessimism about retirement -- 65 percent of Britons -- amounted to almost two-thirds of the country's population.
What exactly do people around the world need and want in order to plan for retirement? Clear and personalized advice and services. The survey noted that 86 percent of respondents said they would be willing to work with an industry professional who could help them compare investment options and consider the pros and cons of each approach. In addition, 82 percent want to have a clear understanding of their financial needs in retirement and a clear illustration of the financial value of different investment options.
Accenture conducted the survey on behalf of the life insurance industry, so hopefully this information will translate into products and services from providers that address these concerns.
But there's another audience that should be listening as well: employers that sponsor defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans. Employers are usually trusted by their employees, and they're in a good position to negotiate and deliver cost-effective solutions for their workers.
A large majority of people worldwide -- 93 percent -- realize they'll need to rely partly or wholly on their personal savings to cover their post-retirement financial needs. But more than two-thirds don't know how much they need to save to ensure a secure retirement. These results will sound familiar to anyone following the retirement scene here in the U.S.
Houston, we have a problem (and clearly it's the same one afflicting London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Tokyo!) This Accenture study highlights the major retirement challenges we have on our hands -- and not just here in the U.S. The tools to address these challenges are available today to financial institutions, employers, and individuals. We just need to find the collective willpower to do something about them.
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