BlackRock Recommends Easy Solutions to Alleviate Barriers to Retirement Saving

Respondents to BlackRock’s 2019 Global Investor Pulse survey cited other financial concerns and intimidation about investing as reasons for not saving for the long term.

Only 56% of the more than 4,000 U.S. respondents to BlackRock’s 2019 Global Investor Pulse survey said they have started to save for retirement, and only 45% of them feel confident that they’ll achieve their “ideal retirement.”

Fewer than half (44%) of U.S. respondents said they have any market-based investment holdings at all, inhibiting their progress toward long-term financial goals.

Respondents reported they are too worried about their financial situation today to think about tomorrow, citing high cost of living (56%), health care costs (49%) and rising prices (34%) as the greatest threats to their current financial health.

However, the survey found a high correlation between planning for the future and a sense of overall contentment. And, those with a higher sense of financial well-being are four times more likely to feel confident about their retirement income (66% vs. 17%).

Women, in particular, are missing out on the financial and emotional benefits of investing. While those who have a retirement plan report a higher well-being (76%) versus those who do not (53%), only half (52%) of U.S. women have started to save for retirement at all. For 64% of this group, just the thought of investing is a source of stress, compared to 50% of U.S. men.

The Global Investor Pulse survey found only 38% of U.S. women invest in the financial markets and more than half (55%) say investing is not for “people like me.” U.S. women who do invest take a more cautious approach, with 38% willing to increase their investment risk to achieve higher returns, compared to 56% of men.

Millennials reported worrying about their finances more than any other age group. More than half (58%) said they are too worried about their current financial situation to think about their future. Seventy-seven percent of Millennials feel there are too many investment options to choose from and six in ten (59%) said they don’t know where to go for retirement planning advice. However, the vast majority of adults ages 25 to 37 (84%) believe their financial outlook would improve if they started investing.

BlackRock says easy-to-use investment solutions could help alleviate both financial and emotional barriers to saving and investing for the long term. Among those who have started investing, seven in ten (70%) U.S. respondents said new technology solutions would help them be more involved in their investments. In addition, the study found that 83% of respondents who work with a financial adviser reported a high sense of well-being, compared with 61% of those who don’t.

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