Generation Gap in Online Retirement Resources

Study shows age preference for different kinds of resources

Retirement plan participants of all ages are going online for guidance, but a survey by OneAmerica found they use different resources once they get there.

More than 60% of participants under 40 found online calculators the most helpful retirement tool, compared with just over half of participants between age 41 and 50, and 41% of those over 50.

Two-thirds of respondents over 50 said retirement articles were most helpful, compared with just 45% of 20- to 30-year-olds. The 20- to 30-year-old group was also most likely to say mobile apps were helpful in retirement planning, a sentiment not shared by the older cohorts. Just 12% of participants between 40 and 50 said mobile apps were helpful. Seven percent of those over 50 agreed.

"Retirement plan providers need to work with their trusted advisers to ensure that plan sponsors are providing a wide variety of tools and the information participants need in various formats in order to reach all audiences successfully," Bill Yoerger, president of retirement business for the OneAmerica companies, said in a statement.

Younger participants are more likely to visit blogs and social media for retirement information, as well. The survey found 20% of participants under 30 said they read about financial issues on blogs, and 28% go to social media. For participants between 40 and 50, 9% said they use blogs and 16% use social media.

"This is also something to keep an eye on in years to come," added Yoerger. "As these generations move through the different age bands, they will likely maintain their preferences for receiving information, while new workers entering the workforce may have completely different needs and habits. It’s up to our industry to evolve with these generations of future retirees."

OneAmerica surveyed more than 6,000 visitors to its subsidiaries websites for the survey.

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