Western American Boomers More Proactive with Financial Planning

A nationwide survey indicates Baby Boomers from the Western U.S. have a markedly different outlook on their life, health, and money, than do boomers in other regions of the country.

According to the second annual Bell Investment Advisors survey of high net worth 60-year-olds, Westerners have the highest life satisfaction rate in the nation, yet they also show the highest level of concern about their health, investments, and family financials.

Asked about their investment goals, Western Boomer investors were less likely than those in other regions to be conservative in their investments and indicated they plan to continue reaching for higher investment returns for the next five years (44% versus 36%). The survey also revealed Western Boomers had the highest rate of participation in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan during their careers (74% v. 71%).

Western Boomers surveyed were more likely to say they plan to pursue personal passions during retirement years (29% v. 25%) or alternative careers (11% v. 5%).

When respondents were asked if they discuss their parents’ finances with them or involve children in retirement planning, Western Boomers were much more likely to say they discuss financial planning with parents (24%) and are beginning to divest assets to children and/or charities (19% to 10%).

“Westerners are clearly taking a much more proactive approach to shaping the future of their retirement,’ said Bell, in a press release about the survey. “Whether it’s due to social atmosphere or political environment, boomers in the West seem to be more open in discussing finances with their families and more committed to earning higher investment returns.’

As for other regions, Baby Boomers in the North East indicated the most dissatisfaction with their life (71%). Of the people surveyed in the North East, 86% expressed the need to improve their community, finances, career and their relationships with family and friends. In the Mid West, 64% of respondents said they had enough funds to retire comfortably.

The survey was conducted among 500 high-net-worth 60-year-olds by the Opinion Research Corporation