SOURCE: Claritas Inc.

August 15, 2005 08:00 ET

Claritas Market Audit Survey Shows 'Boomers' Investing More in 529 College Savings Plans

Investment Rate for 2004 Up Nearly Three Percentage Points Over 2003

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 15, 2005 -- Although recent reports indicate that most parents and grandparents remain unschooled about the availability of state-sponsored 529 college savings plans, a new analysis of data from the Claritas Market Audit® on how Baby Boomers are investing in the plans showed that the learning curve appears to be improving. The Market Audit is a comprehensive survey of household financial behavior fielded by Integras, the advanced analytical services division of market research leader Claritas Inc.

Overall, the analysis found that Boomer households with children across a wide range of income levels increased their investments in the savings plans significantly from 7.4 percent in 2003 to 10.2 percent in 2004. Data for this analysis was developed from over 175,000 interviews comparing household penetration of 529 plans among Baby Boomers (age 40-59) with children during those two years.

Not surprisingly, Boomer households with income-producing assets (IPA) of $500,000-plus (the highest level as stipulated in the analysis) have shown the greatest incidence of investment at 19.6 percent in 2004, up less than one percent over 2003. However, the increases are greater at the lower levels of IPA. (IPA measures a household's liquid financial assets and includes products like checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, IRAs, mutual funds, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, securities and other liquid assets. IPA does not include the estimated value of a household's primary residence or vehicles.)

The analysis also showed that:

--  Household penetration of 529 plans among Boomer households with
    children and IPA of $100,000 to 500,000 grew from 11.4 percent penetration
    in 2003 to 16.5 percent penetration in 2004.
--  Boomer households with children and IPA of less than $100,000
    increased their investments in the plans from 3.3 percent in 2003 to 4.5
    percent penetration in 2004.
    

"The audit numbers clearly indicate that not just the most affluent Boomer families are recognizing that 529 plans can be a very flexible and beneficial investment vehicle, which underscores their growing appeal," said Integras Customer Research Consultant Julie Simard.

Household Penetration of 529 Plans among Baby Boomers with Children: http://www.claritasmarketing.com/babyboomers/

About Integras

Formed in January 2003, Integras provides high-end analytical consulting and advanced decision support for marketing and location strategy. A division of Claritas Inc., Integras combines sophisticated quantitative analysis with the broadest array of consumer and business data available in the United States to help companies make better strategic decisions. In addition to conducting four syndicated surveys (Insurance Audit, Market Audit, Convergence Audit and Restaurant Audit), the Customer Research and Targeting business unit of Integras conducts custom primary market research on behalf of their clients. For more information about these and other Integras services visit www.integrasconsulting.com.

About Claritas

Since 1971, San Diego-based Claritas has been the pre-eminent source of accurate, up-to-date marketing information about people, households and businesses within any geographic area in the United States. Its target marketing services are aimed at reducing the cost of customer acquisition and growing customer value. Claritas offers industry-leading consumer segmentation systems, consulting services and software applications for site analysis, advertising sales and customer targeting. Claritas is a division of VNU, a world-leading information and media company that includes ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, Spectra Marketing Systems and Scarborough Research, among others. To learn more about Claritas and VNU products and services visit their web sites at www.claritas.com and www.VNU.com.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Stephen F. Moore
    Claritas Inc.
    (858) 677-9634
    Email Contact