According to the 2012 Retirement & Politics Survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, 67% of all Transition Boomers, regardless of party affiliation, listed health care expenses as their top concern, with Republicans at 64%, Democrats at 69% and Independents at 66%. Social Security ranked second at 53% for all Transition Boomers, followed by tax payment changes (31%), rising national debt (26%), unemployment (19%) and education (4%).
When it comes to overall retirement savings philosophy, 59% of Republican Transition Boomers identified themselves as being conservative or moderately conservative compared with 36% of Democrats. However, Democrat Transition Boomers were more likely to be balanced in their retirement savings approach, with 29% identifying themselves as balanced versus 18% for Republican Transition Boomers.
Regarding the effect the election will have on their approach to retirement savings, 29% of Republican Transition Boomers were likely to become more aggressive if Mitt Romney wins while 30% of Democrats would become more conservative. If President Barack Obama is re-elected, 81% of Democrat Transition Boomers anticipate no changes to their retirement approach while 42% of Republicans said they would become more conservative.
Thirty-nine percent of Independents and 29% of those with no preference identified themselves as conservative or moderately conservative, while 30% of Independents and 34% with no preference identified themselves as balanced in their retirement savings approach.
The majority of this group of Transition Boomers also said the outcome of the election would not trigger a change in their retirement savings strategy. Specifically, if President Obama is re-elected, 64% of Independents and 75% of no preference Transition Boomers said they would keep the same retirement savings strategy. If Romney wins, 61% of Independents and 73% of no preference Transition Boomers said they would keep the same retirement savings strategy.
Retirement planning is clearly important to all Transition Boomers. Seventy-two percent began saving for retirement in their 40s or earlier, and 28% started in their 30s. More Republican Transition Boomers (79%) than Democrats (69%), Independents (71%), or Transition Boomers without political party preference (67%) said they have started saving for retirement prior to age 50.
In total, 17% of Transition Boomers indicated they haven’t begun saving for retirement yet. Only 12% of Republicans,19% of Democrats, 19% of Independents and 23% of those with no party preference said they have not yet begun saving for retirement.
The Allianz Life 2012 Retirement & Politics Survey was commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and conducted September 17 to 20, 2012, among a random sample of online panelists by Ipsos. The results included 1,209 respondents ages 55 to 65.