Affluent Pre-Retirees More Confident In U.S. Economy

Affluent consumer confidence rose in a recent survey by Phoenix Marketing International, which showed an uptick in those saying that economic conditions have improved.

In May, when the survey was conducted, 47% of respondents felt optimistic about being able to retire when they had planned. Last November, when the previous survey was conducted, 38% of respondents expressed confidence in their ability to retire on track.

Fewer than half the respondents in May (44%) said the economic environment had had a negative impact on their lives, a dip from the 50% expressing this sentiment in November.

Other indications that confidence in the economy is growing are fewer investors agreeing that “the recession of 2008 never really came to an end for people like me” (22% vs. 35% in November) and “America’s quality of life will be negatively affected by the recent financial crisis for the long term” (44% vs. 56% in November).

“Our findings show the consequence of investor perception of an improved economic climate translates very quickly to a shift in investment strategy anticipated in the next six months,” said John Duggan, vice president for sales and marketing at Phoenix. Fewer pre-retirees are planning to hold steady or make no changes (24% vs. 31% in November), and fewer said they would increase the rate of personal savings (26% vs. 32% in the previous survey).

Individual investors in the U.S. age 35 to 64 with $100,000 or more in household income and investable assets, excluding 401(k) or similar employer-managed plans, were surveyed. The biannual Phoenix study has been conducted since November 2009.