By Cyril Tuohy
Advisors prospecting for a new generation of clients may first want to approach middle class Americans in their 30s. They are the mostly likely among all age groups to have a written retirement plan, a new survey finds.
Then again, perhaps it’s those age groups without a plan who can use the most help.
The findings are the latest results from the Wells Fargo Middle Class Retirement study of 1,000 middle class Americans between the ages of 25 and 75.
“On a comparative basis, people in their 30s appear to be more aware of what the variables are for a successful retirement,” Laurie Nordquist, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, said in a news release. “They seem to know that having a plan, saving more and trying to overcome fear of the market are the keys to success.”
More than one third of middle class Americans in their 30s have a written retirement plan, the highest response rate among all age groups, the survey found.
Americans in their 30s with access to a 401(k) or equivalent retirement account are saving a median of 6 percent of their income, 1 percentage point more than people in their 20s and 40s, the Wells Fargo study also found.
People in their 30s also estimate needing a median of $500,000 for retirement, the highest estimate of all age groups surveyed, according to the Wells Fargo survey.
For now, it seems Americans in their 30s are most in need of financial planning. A separate survey conducted by the Urban Institute earlier this year found that the net worth of today’s 30-somethings, adjusted for inflation, is down 21 percent from the net worth of 30-somethings in 1983.
Those who plan and control household spending and savings are more likely to be in a better position to secure their futures, Nordquist said.
Only 31 percent of Americans between the ages of 40 and 59 say they have a plan, the survey found.
Only a quarter of middle class Americans earning between $25,000 and $50,000 have a written plan for retirement, and 29 percent of those with household income of between $50,000 and $100,000 have a written plan, the survey also found.
Planning is for everyone, Nordquist also said. “It is the foundation for consistent savings, which can allow people to have the nest egg they will need in retirement and can also help people determine the role Social Security will play in their retirement.”
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at Cyril.Tuohy@innfeedback.com.
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