SOURCE: Edward Jones

May 05, 2009 08:00 ET

The Nest Egg Recovery Timeline: Edward Jones Survey Reveals Nearly 40% of Americans Say It Will Take More Than Three Years to Recoup Losses

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2009) - Nearly four out of 10 Americans (or 39%) say they expect it will take at least three years to recover the value of their retirement savings that were lost in the financial downturn, according to the findings of a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones. While 20% said the recovery would take fewer than three years, nearly one-quarter of respondents (24%) predict that a full recovery of losses would require at least six years. Only 4% expect their savings to fully recover by 2010.

The study of 1,000 respondents, which was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Edward Jones, reveals the majority of middle-aged Americans anticipate it will take longer than three years (54%) to recover a loss in retirement savings, compared with those in the same age group, who believe it will take fewer than three years (20%). Included in the group of Americans not saving for retirement were younger Americans (37%) and senior citizens (25%).

"No one can predict when the market will recover," said Alan Skrainka, chief market strategist at Edward Jones. "If you look at similar declines in the stock market, the average recovery is two-thirds in two years, and full recovery in five years. History is not always a guide, and this recovery could take longer, but if history is a guide, this could be the worst possible time to abandon a well thought out investment strategy. Now is not the time to make market predictions. Now is the time to make good decisions."

Other survey findings show that 45% of Hispanics expect it will take longer than three years to recover their savings, compared with 35% of African Americans, who have the highest percentage of individuals who are not saving for retirement at 37%. That compares with 27% of Hispanics and 20% of whites, who are not savings for retirement.

Geographically, the North Central region has the highest percentage of individuals who say it will take more than three years to recover the losses of retirement savings (44%), while those from the Northeast and West both agree it will take fewer than three years (23%).

Differences in household income also had an impact on responses. Higher earners are more likely to save for retirement than lower earners (85% vs. 50%). The survey also found that respondents with a higher income believe it will take more than three years to recover retirement savings, compared with lower earners (52% vs. 26% respectively).

Based on educational history, college graduates are more likely to believe it will take at least three years (50%) to recover savings, versus those who think it will take fewer than three years (25%). Meanwhile, half of respondents who did not finish high school (51%) are not saving for retirement, compared with only 11% of college graduates.

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones provides investment advice and financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliates, in Canada and the United Kingdom. Every aspect of the company's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to the individual investor in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 10,000 investment representatives work directly with more than 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create a long-term strategy for their investments that emphasizes a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

Edward Jones is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., and can be found at www.edwardjones.com.

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* Survey was based on 1,000 telephone interviews of US adults and was conducted between the dates of April 23 and 26. The margin of error was +/- 3%.

Contact Information

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