Teachers Ahead of the Pack in Retirement Planning

Teachers as a group have better savings habits and are more likely to work with financial advisers than the general population, according to a recent study.

According to a press release on survey findings, teachers were more likely than those in other occupations to set a savings goal for retirement (48% vs 38%), to work with a professional adviser (34% vs 19%), to save money each month for retirement (65% vs 56%), and to develop a financial plan for retirement (26% vs 13%). The study was sponsored by AIG VALIC, which provides retirement plan services to for-profit and not-for-profit education, healthcare and government organizations.

Teachers tended to be more confident in their retirement than others surveyed, with just under half (47%) saying they were “very or fairly well prepared,” compared with 37% of the general population who said so. Also, 54% of teachers say they are “financially comfortable or well-off” versus 44% of the general population.

Nearly one-half (47%) of teachers report they are looking forward to retirement “a great deal/a lot” compared to four in 10 (39%) of the general population. They are less likely to express concern about reaching retirement savings goals and more likely to express confidence that they will accumulate enough money to fund their preferred retirement lifestyle, according to the release.

Financial Plan Equals Retirement Confidence

Those surveyed that have drafted a financial plan for retirement are more confident in their ability to plan for retirement (76%) than those who have not (35%), report a higher likelihood of reaching their retirement savings goal (52% vs. 35%), and are less likely to express concern about it (5% vs.18%).

Those who acknowledge being financially unprepared are less likely than those who feel they are financially prepared to say they look forward to retirement (27% vs. 58%), more likely to express concern about reaching retirement savings goals and securing health care coverage (43% vs. 6%), and see a greater likelihood of working in retirement (9% vs. 46%).

Other Findings

The greatest worry among those surveyed is health care costs in retirement, with 61% saying they fear it a great deal. Other findings in relation to health care are:

  • 50% are concerned about health care costs,
  • 45% say they would be willing to work a few extra years or go back to work after retirement for health care coverage,
  • 38% say they would be willing to stay at a job they did not like for health insurance coverage.

The AIG/VALIC survey results were based on interviews with nearly 2,000 US adults between the ages of 45 and 65.