SOURCE: Franklin Templeton

Franklin Templeton

March 10, 2014 09:01 ET

Franklin Templeton Survey Finds Retirement Full of Contradictions

Americans Looking Forward to Retirement Yet Lack Preparedness

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 10, 2014) - Franklin Templeton Investments today announced the findings of its 2014 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey in the United States. The annual survey, which polled 2,011 Americans ages 18 and over, found that the concept of retirement is laden with contradictions in both attitude and preparedness.

Among those not yet retired, the survey found that 92 percent of individuals anticipate their retirement expenses to be similar to or less than pre-retirement spending. Interestingly, more than a third of pre-retirees (39 percent) have not yet started saving for retirement.

"Americans have long struggled with preparing for the realities of retirement," said Michael Doshier, vice president of Retirement Marketing for Franklin Templeton Investments. "The survey uncovered several contradictions related to the degree of understanding and often divergent approaches to retirement."

On the bright side, the majority (72 percent) of pre-retirees indicated that they are looking forward to retirement. However, only 25 percent of all respondents think that their retirement will be better than previous generations versus 33 percent who think it will be similar and 41 percent who think it will be worse. Even with improving economic conditions, more people are concerned (48 percent) about outliving their assets or having to make major sacrifices to their retirement plan today than they were at the beginning of last year (44 percent).

The Gender Gap
The results show a significant gender gap in overall attitude and concerns toward retirement. By a ratio of three to two, women are more likely to respond that they are not very confident with and don't really understand their retirement income plan. Men more frequently said they think their retirement will be better than previous generations.

Men and women also differ in their approach to retirement. For example, the survey found that men are slightly more likely to consider the needs of their spouse, while women are more likely to consider their own needs and those of their children and grandchildren.

Age vs. Outlook
The survey uncovered differences in retirement outlook, based on age. The younger the respondent, the earlier they expect to retire. 

When asked what they would do if they were unable to retire as planned due to insufficient income, "retire later" was the top response among the possible adjustments pre-retirees would make.

"The difficulty is that retiring later and introducing new sources of income aren't always viable solutions to meeting retirement income needs," said Doshier. "Our survey shows that about a fourth (24 percent) of retirees retired not by choice but due to circumstances beyond their control."

As people pass middle age and the reality of retirement nears, they appear to be less likely to retire later and more likely to downsize their expenses and lifestyle. Specifically, the survey found that as pre-retirees ages 35 and older near traditional retirement age, their willingness to "retire later" to address insufficient funds decreases, while their willingness to "reduce retirement expenses / lower my lifestyle expectations" increases.

What's Next?
The RISE survey found that the number one piece of advice from those currently retired is to save early, save often and save consistently, with 79 percent of respondents recommending this.

"Retirement saving has been a concern for a long time and, with the government's recent focus on the issue, it is our hope that Americans will begin to use the resources available to them to better plan for what's next," said Doshier. "There are a few simple steps you can take to prepare for what's next, including acknowledging your own retirement goals and concerns, learning about the various sources of income and matching them to your likely expenses. A financial advisor can help you establish a retirement income investment plan tailored to your future needs and aspirations."

Methodology
The 2014 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey was conducted online among a sample of 2,011 adults comprising 1,008 men and 1,003 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was administered from January 2 to 16 by ORC International's Online CARAVAN®.

About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Templeton Investments is a leader in retirement investing, managing over $200 billion1 in retirement assets on behalf of individuals, businesses and institutions. From its beginning in 1947, Franklin Templeton Investments has helped people build their retirement nest eggs.  

All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal. Investing in a Franklin Templeton Fund does not guarantee one's retirement income needs will be met. Investors should carefully consider a fund's investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain a summary prospectus and/or prospectus for a Franklin Templeton Fund, which contains this and other information, talk to your financial advisor, call us at (800) DIAL BEN/(800) 342-5236 or visit franklintempleton.com. Please carefully read a prospectus before you invest or send money.  

Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $857 billion in assets under management as of January 31, 2014. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com. 

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1. As of December 31, 2013.

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