Survey Reveals Common Keys to Retirement Satisfaction

Examining key takeaways and trends uncovered in the Allspring Global Investments Retirement Survey results with Nate Miles, Allspring head of Global Client Strategy.

I’m always looking for more data on retirement and Social Security, so when I came across the Allspring Global Investments Retirement Survey and had a chance to speak with Nate Miles from Allspring, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Nate Miles is head of Global Client Strategy at Allspring Global Investments. The Allspring Global Investments Retirement Survey focuses on near-retirees (aged 55 and older with more than $200,000 in investable assets and still working) and retirees (with the same asset threshold but no longer working). The survey examines the perceptions and knowledge levels of individuals and advisors, as well as the changes identified and made within the retirement landscape.

Key Insights from the Survey:

  • The survey reveals a discrepancy between the confidence levels of retirees and near-retirees and the assessments made by advisors. Retirees and near-retirees tend to be more confident in their abilities compared to the advisors they work with.
  • Retirees who regularly use financial advice from an advisor tend to be less confident in their own decision-making abilities but more confident in the decisions made on their behalf. This indicates the value of high-quality advice in guiding retirement planning.
  • Advisors and clients often focus on different aspects of financial planning. While advisors may prioritize diversification and asset allocation, clients may seek assistance with budgeting, financial planning, Medicare, and long-term care planning.
  • A key finding is that the order in which retirement planning decisions are made can impact clients’ satisfaction and success. Clients often approach advisors with investment-related questions, but their primary concerns revolve around budgeting, income, and other aspects of financial planning.

Insights on Retirees’ Attitudes:

  • Retirees experience a shift in focus from asset stability to income generation once they transition into retirement. This shift highlights the importance of advisors helping clients manage the mental adjustment from accumulating wealth to generating income.
  • Retirees are generally happier than near-retirees, as they focus less on financial matters and more on enjoying retirement life.
  • Retirees demonstrate contentment with their financial situation, showing that they can adjust their spending and maintain a high level of happiness even if their income decreases by up to 25%.

Recommendations for Retirement Planning:

  • It’s crucial for advisors to understand clients’ needs and priorities, especially as they transition from near-retirees to retirees.
  • A focus on the basics, such as budgeting and income planning, is essential before delving into more complex investment strategies.
  • Advisors should work closely with clients to establish a retirement planning process that addresses immediate concerns such as spending, income generation, tax planning, and investments.
  • The study underscores the importance of empowering clients through education and guiding them in making well-informed financial decisions.

The results of the survey reinforce some of the beliefs I have developed over the past several years working with retirees and near-retirees, especially in terms of valuing retirement preparation and planning. Once you’ve developed a comprehensive and safety-first retirement plan, I find time and again that people are able to enjoy their retirement more with the confidence that they’ve got a plan they can trust.

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