Sep 20, 2012 ---
The number of U.S. consumers making financial
preparations for retirement fell to 70%, the lowest in three years, according
to a retirement readiness index by Ameriprise Financial.
The New Retirement Mindscape 2012
City Pulse index examines the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine
where consumers are the most prepared for and confident about retirement, and
tracks national and local retirement trends over time. Hartford-New Haven,
Connecticut, (No. 1), San Diego (No. 2) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (No. 3) claimed
the top three spots on the third annual index while Washington, D.C., (No. 30),
Charlotte, North Carolina, (No. 29) and Indianapolis (No. 28) ranked
Several things set apart the
top-ranked metros. Residents of Hartford-New Haven, San Diego and
Minneapolis-St. Paul are significantly more likely to say they are making
financial preparations, including setting aside money for retirement,
determining how much they need to save and consulting with a financial adviser.
Perhaps as a result, they are also much more likely to feel on track and
financially prepared for retirement.
In top-ranked Hartford-New Haven,
three-quarters (75%) of residents say they have set aside money for retirement,
compared with 63% of people nationwide. Nearly half (49%) report feeling on
track for retirement—the most of any metro—and a sentiment expressed by
significantly fewer consumers across the U.S. (37%).
However, despite the efforts they
have made from a financial standpoint, residents of these areas are only on par
with the rest of the nation with regard to planning for the activities they
would like to pursue during retirement—a fact that may leave them less prepared
than they actually feel. In fact, in third-ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul, where
residents report the highest levels of financial preparation, only 18% say they
have given a lot of thought to where they might live in retirement and how they
plan to rest and relax.
While the story is not as positive
for the bottom-ranked metros, it may not be as grim as it initially seems.
Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., are on par with the national average in financial preparation, while Charlotte scores just slightly below.
However, residents of these metros report a significant lack of confidence in
their ability to reach their retirement goals.