More Affluent Boomers Revamp Retirement Plans

More than half of affluent 60-year-olds are changing their retirement plans—double the number from the same survey almost a year ago, according to Bell Investment Advisors.

The survey found that of those who have changed their retirement plans in the last six months, two out of three are delaying their retirement, with 34% of these planning to work an additional five or more years, according to a release of the results from Bell. More than a third (35%) reported they do not have enough saved to retire.

In response, almost 75% have reduced spending, and nearly half have changed their investments, which is an increase from last year (see “Affluent Boomers Adjust Portfolios Because of Economic Worries“). Among respondents who plan to reduce their spending this year, nearly half (46%) are doing so in order to rebuild their retirement savings.

Of investors surveyed, 54% estimated they will need $1 to $3 million at retirement, but 42% have invested or saved less than $1 million, according to the survey results. More than half of those Boomers who have decided to delay their retirement cite the same reason for adding more working years to their plans (55%).

The respondents also expressed a lack of confidence in the nation’s financial system. They’ve lost the most confidence in government regulators (34%) and banks and financial institutions (30%).

When it comes to investing, the majority of surveyed Boomers (56%) think the stock market is “too risky for people their age,” Bell said. More than half (61%) of those surveyed plan to make a change in their investment strategy this year, with one-third of them planning to invest more in fixed-income investments. Half of those investors who intend to change are taking a “wait and see” attitude about which direction they will go.

Despite the fear for their nest egg, many of the respondents are optimistic about the stock market: Looking forward, 73% said they expect the stock market to finish 2009 higher than it started, and 43% said they think 2009 will be a year where they increase their wealth.

The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation from January 21 to 29 among a random sample of 514 adults who were born in 1949 and have investable assets in the $1 million range.