September 27, 2012
--- The Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey found families cautiously optimistic
and regaining control of their financial lives. ---
adviser released findings from its report examining the values, financial
priorities and concerns of affluent Americans. The latest findings from this
series, which began in 2009, focus on two areas: adjusting to the new normal,
and the greatest concerns for their future and for their families.
percent of affluent Americans view the current economic climate as a new
reality, and many are taking steps to gain greater control of their financial
lives in this environment, including reining in spending and lowering debt. The
survey also finds a notable shift toward less conservative investing.
While health care
costs and funding retirement remain top concerns, many families have the added
challenge of financially supporting a parent or adult-age child.
For three years,
health care costs have remained a top concern. More than three-quarters of
respondents (77%) are highly concerned, and a more substantial majority (83%)
of those over the age of 65 reported this as a concern.
second and third greatest financial concerns relate to retirement and include
ensuring their assets will last throughout their lifetime (68%) and being able
to afford the lifestyle they want later in life (55%). Four out of five (80%)
respondents worry that they will be unable to accomplish certain financial
goals before retirement, such as saving enough to sustain their lifestyle
during retirement (42%), being able to pay off or invest more in their current
home (27%) or affording a dream home (24%).