When it comes to worrying about retirement, pre-retirees and retirees around the world are in sync, though some, like the Japanese, are more anxious than others. That’s what a recent international retirement survey conducted by The Hartford revealed. Released in October, the survey examined the retirement attitudes of men and women aged 45 and older in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and found that “individuals are responsible for their retirement, they’re going to need more money than they thought, and they need to start planning even earlier and saving more is true everywhere–and it’s most true for Japan,” says Liz Zlatkus, president of international wealth management at The Hartford.
The Web survey, conducted in August with a total of 2,553 respondents, found that seven out of 10 Americans and British are somewhat concerned about having enough money in retirement, while in Japan, nine out of 10 consumers are worried about their retirement, with 58% of those surveyed in the Land of the Rising Sun saying they are extremely or very concerned about retirement. In addition, 40% of Japanese say they are going to have to work longer versus 36% of workers in U.S. and 34% in the U.K. A higher proportion of Japanese–44%–also don’t expect that they’re going to live as well as their parents, Zlatkus notes, compared to 27% in the U.S. and 25% in the U.K.
For the past five years, the insurer has been selling retirement products, particularly its variable annuities, in Japan, and two years ago started doing the same in the U.K. Japan is the second largest retirement market in the world after the U.S., with the U.K. and Europe ranking third. The inaugural retirement survey was designed to help The Hartford “compare, contrast, and tailor our products and approach to each [of the three] markets,” Zlatkus says.
The Japanese Worries