Investors Spend 475 Hours a Year Worrying About Money: Legg Mason

Legg Mason survey finds that managing catastrophe, longevity and inflation during retirement are investors’ top concerns

Investors' top worry is facing a catastrophic event that eats up their retirement funds. Investors' top worry is facing a catastrophic event that eats up their retirement funds.

One hour and twenty minutes. That’s how long investors spend on average each day thinking or worrying about money, according to a recent Legg Mason survey.  

That adds up to nine hours each week and 475 hours over the course of one year.

“People are spending on average 20 full days each year worrying about money,” said Matthew Schiffman, global head of marketing for Legg Mason, in a statement.

And that’s just on average. According to Legg Mason’s survey, 10% of all investors spend two to three hours each day – or between 730 and 1,095 hours annually – thinking or worrying about money.

“That’s a lot of time and a lot of stress, which is why we encourage investors to share their concerns with their financial advisors and create a financial plan that anticipates their needs both now and in retirement,” Schiffman said in a statement. “Having a plan could give investors the peace of mind they need so they can worry less. Imagine what they could do with the 475 extra hours they’ll get back each year.”

This data focuses on the U.S. portion of the Legg Mason Global Investment Survey, which was conducted online from November to January among 458 affluent investors with a minimum of $200,000 in investable assets, not including their home.

The average age of investors surveyed was 58, and they reported an average of $385,000 saved in defined contribution retirement plans – which may be causing some of their consistent worries.

“Given their ambitious goals,” Schiffman added in a statement, “investors hopefully have considerable savings elsewhere, such as significant equity in their home or other investment accounts, where their asset allocation is designed to help them achieve their long-term goals.”

The majority (72%) of investors surveyed said their primary goal of investing was to “maintain my current lifestyle later in life.”

When asked if they were making progress toward this goal, Legg Mason found that 38% said they were not doing well or only doing “somewhat well” at best, and 40% said they were “very confident” in their ability to “retire at the age I want to,” while 60% were either not confident or “somewhat confident” at best.

Legg Mason narrowed down investors’ worries to three issues that they fear could prevent them from living the lifestyle they want later in life.

These top three issues are:

1. “Having a catastrophic event (for example, illness or injury) that uses up my retirement funds.”

2. “Living longer than my retirement funds last.”

3. “My income won't keep up with inflation.”

“Despite low levels of inflation, the challenges of generating income in an uncertain rate environment are weighing on investors,” Schiffman said in a statement. 

Legg Mason found that having income-producing investments is a priority for more than 80% of investors. And, according to Legg Mason, most invest in equity income funds, investment grade bonds and high-yield bonds to meet their income needs.

To help alleviate investors’ concern regarding generating income,  Schiffman recommends “that investors look beyond traditional fixed income and equity asset classes to enhance the diversification and resilience of their income-producing assets.” 

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