Survey Finds More Proof the Downturn Means Delayed Retirement

Only 44% of investors reported being confident in their ability to retire in financial security as they had planned, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Citi and conducted by Hart Research Associates.

More than a third (36%) said they might need to adjust their plans, and 16% said they are not confident in their ability to retire in financial security.

Thirty percent of non-retired investors said they are considering postponing retirement due to declines in their investment portfolio. Four in 10 said they plan to work part-time in retirement, according to a release of the results. 

Nearly seven in 10 non-retired investors (69%) plan to remain active in retirement, either by volunteering (26%) or by working part-time (43%) after officially retiring. Among large investors, 42% plan to work part-time and 24% to volunteer.  

The study found 62% of large and small investors (those with investable assets over $500,000 and $100,000, respectively) said they are optimistic the investment climate will get better in the next six months, compared to 35% who said it will get worse. The survey also found that a slim majority of investors believe that the investment climate is better today than it was a year ago (50% better to 41% worse for all investors; 52% better to 37% worse for large investors).  

Despite this optimism, investors are continuing to take a cautious approach overall. By a substantial margin—57% to 42%—investors with investable assets more than $100,000 described their current strategy as being more focused on maintaining wealth rather than trying to build it. Thirty-six percent of investors indicate they are moving assets and savings to less risky areas.  

Only 8% of investors indicated a preference for a high return strategy with high risk (rating their investment strategy as an 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10), while 41% rated their strategy as a 4 or lower, indicating their preference for a lower risk and reward.  

Notably, the embattled real estate sector—defined as real estate, investment properties or REITs—topped the list for both all investors and large investors, with 47% and 50% saying it is an excellent or good time to invest in these opportunities, respectively. This was followed by mutual fund accounts (40% investors, 41% large investors), individual stocks (37% investors, 43% large investors), municipal bonds (30% investors, 29% large investors), savings, CDs, and money market accounts (27% investors, 22% large investors), and corporate bonds (20% investors, 24% large investors).  

Hart Research Associates conducted the telephone survey nationally of 756 investors who have at least $100,000 in investable assets, including 317 investors who have assets of more than $500,000, from March 15 to 25.