February 6, 2013

Boomers Will Have $22T in Retirement Assets by 2020

Separate survey find millennials more ‘determined’ to transfer wealth

Investable retirement assets among Americans over 55 are expected to reach $22 trillion by 2020, according to LIMRA.

An analysis released Monday found people between 55 and 64 years old had a little over $6 trillion in investable assets. That group is expected to have accumulated $10.2 trillion by 2020. Americans over 65 had nearly $6 trillion in 2010, and are expected to have over $11 trillion in 2020.

“There is a huge opportunity for the financial services industry to help Americans identify how much income they will need in retirement, develop a plan for investing their portfolio to generate income, while continuing to grow their assets,” Jafor Iqbal, associate managing director for LIMRA Retirement Research, said in a statement.

That opportunity should be relatively easy to act on with older consumers, a separate survey by Accenture, released Tuesday, found. The Accenture survey found boomers were less likely than younger investors to mistrust financial advisors.

Boomers were far more likely than millennials to take their advisor’s financial advice without feeling the need to consult other sources, and one-third of boomers said they spent “a lot of time” researching their options before making a major financial decision, according to Accenture.

However, Accenture stressed that despite boomers’ apparent readiness to trust their advisors, millennials are the real source of opportunity for financial professionals. The survey found 40% of that group are “determined” to pass wealth on to heirs, compared with 25% of older investors. Accenture also found that while nearly three-quarters of millennials are actively investing, only 22% go through an advisor, and those relationships are largely “transactional.”

“The behaviors and attitudes of millennials are not just a matter of long-term strategy for wealth managers; they are a leading indicator of the need for change today,” Alex Pigliucci, global managing director of Accenture Wealth and Asset Management Services, said in a statement. “The recent financial crisis brought a sea change in attitudes toward investing and distrust for the financial industry across all generations.”

Pigliucci stressed the importance of digital communications in maintaining communication with clients, noting that even older generations are likely to be online in some way, although the survey targeted respondents who were “tech-savvy” and use social media at least once a week.

“The explosion of digital and social channels in everyday life is simultaneously spilling into consumers’ relationships with their financial institutions,” Pigliucci said. “With half of all baby-boom investors currently active in social media and a vast majority active online, the innovations that will capture the millennial generation also will help capture the most coveted demographics among Gen Xers and baby boomers.”

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