Americans Equally Concerned About Volatility and Retirement Goals

Men are more concerned about short-term volatility than women.

Americans are almost equally concerned about short term market volatility as they are about achieving their long-term retirement goals, Franklin Templeton Investments found in its 2017 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations Survey. Forty-seven percent are concerned about short-term volatility, and 53% are worried about their retirement goals.

Volatility concerns men more than women (51% versus 44%) while long-term retirement goals are top of mind for women (56% versus 49%).

Across generations, Gen Xers are the least concerned about volatility, with 39% saying they are paying attention to this. Franklin Templeton says that it is surprising that 47% of Millennials, who have the longest time horizon for investing, are worried about volatility and that 53% of them are worried about not being able to achieve their retirement goals.

“The 24-hour news cycle and global uncertainty contribute to an outsized preoccupation with the short term,” says Michael Doshier, vice president of retirement marketing at Franklin Templeton Investments. “Retirement planning should be approached holistically with a long-term focus, taking into account both short- and long-term risk tolerance and overall goals in relation to various demographic factors like household size.”

Sixty-two percent of people say that they consider other household members when thinking about retirement, and this jumps to 84% if the person is married or living with a partner. Among those with a child under the age of 18, 16% expect that saving for their child’s education will delay their retirement. Seventeen percent of working Americans with a child under the age of 18 are looking for college savings-related tools.

Thirty-two percent of Baby Boomers and 31% of the Silent Generation say that their 401(k) retirement plan savings is their primary source of income in retirement.

Eighty-one percent of those who have worked with an adviser say they are confident in their ability to invest for retirement, compared to 53% of those who do not have an adviser. Among those working with an adviser, 95% say that they are integral to generating retirement income.

NEXT: Retirement income knowledgeOnly 40% of those who are investing in a 401(k) plan know how much it will generate in income during their retirement. That is a rather remarkable finding, as 60% of men and 47% of women say that they have a strategy to generate income for a retirement that could last 30 to 40 years—or longer.

Thirty-two percent would like more investment options, and 9% would like different investment options.

Fifty-three percent would be willing to retire later if necessary, down from 62% in the 2014 survey. Twenty-two percent of those working with an adviser would prefer taking on more risk to retiring later.

ORC International’s Online CARAVAN conducted the online survey for Franklin Templeton among 2,013 people in January.