I received an interesting email this morning from a PR person for Allianz Life (I’m not getting paid to post this) about a study that Allianz conducted recently about Americans’ readiness for retirement. They also placed the respondents into five different categories or personalities. From the email:
Allianz Life’s Reclaiming the Future study polled 3,247 Americans, ages 44-75, with a minimum household income of $30,000. Via a statistical technique called cluster analysis (I know nothing about this), consumer segments were identified based on attitudinal, behavioral, psychographic and demographic characteristics. Five distinct financial personalities emerged as the respondents’ demographic data were analyzed and correlated with their responses about economic resilience, concerns, attitudes and financial needs.
A Closer Look at the Five Personalities
Overwhelmed – 32 percent of respondents
The largest segment of respondents, “Overwhelmeds” feel unprepared for retirement and lack confidence in their ability to put together a strategy for their financial needs in retirement. They have the highest level of credit card debt and low asset levels. They are depending heavily on Social Security for their retirement.
Resilient – 27 percent of respondents
Pragmatic and grounded, this group was hit hard psychologically during the recession. “Resilients” have finally woken up and now recognize the need for better planning – while also restoring their battered portfolios. They are most concerned with outliving their income and realize they may have to work longer than expected to achieve retirement goals.
Iconic – 20 percent of respondents
“Iconics” can be thought of as “role models” – “true blue” retired Americans who’ve worked hard and lived within their means. They’re middle class, live mostly on a pension, and are extremely disciplined and traditional in their viewpoints and values. “Iconics” may have reduced some of their spending recently, but they have a clear understanding of their retirement expenses.
Savvy – 14 percent of respondents
Those in the “Savvy” category are financially sophisticated, affluent boomers who pride themselves on having prepared well for retirement and being informed about most financial concepts. This group is living comfortably in retirement and appears to be the best-prepared of the five personalities. They are financially independent and comfortable taking risks.
Distracted – 7 percent of respondents
The youngest of the segments, “Distracteds” are caught up in the complexity of modern life and tend not to focus on planning for retirement. They have the highest income of any segment and tend to spend freely – with family and home expenditures taking priority over saving for retirement. Although they have substantial assets, they may still be worried that their savings won’t be adequate for retirement and have no real plan for growing those savings.
“Despite recent financial turmoil that may have negatively affected their retirement savings, a key takeaway from our research is that a majority of boomers now understand the role that guaranteed lifetime income can play in their retirement strategy,” added Libbe.
For more detail on each of the five personalities and a series of videos that bring those personalities to life, visit www.allianzlife.com/reclaim.
Did you see that quote? “Despite recent financial turmoil that may have negatively affected their retirement savings, a key takeaway from our research is that a majority of boomers now understand the role that guaranteed lifetime income can play in their retirement strategy,” added Libbe.
I would expect an insurance company to say such a thing. Unfortunately, many insecure people are going to get bamboozled by fee-ridden annuities in the name of “security.” Sorry I’m so skeptical but that’s the way I feel.