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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

The Rich Are Richer

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Wealthy Americans say they are wealthier than they were last year but are still unsure about how well they will fare in retirement.

Researchers at Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, say a recent survey they commissioned found that 81% of U.S. millionaires feel even better off now than they did in 2006, and more consider their long-term wealth “extremely secure.” Only 1% said they were significantly less wealthy than last year.

For the first time in 6 years, just as many respondents are seeking return on assets as are looking to preserve their wealth, Phoenix found.

About 60% of the wealthy survey participants said they may never fully retire, in part because of concerns about future health care or long term care expenses.

During the bull market of the 1990s, high-net-worth individuals wanted to retire early and completely, says Walter Zultowski, a senior vice president at Phoenix.

“This year, despite feeling more secure in their wealth, a larger percentage of respondents expect to keep working at least part-time,” Zultowski says.

Fewer than one-third of the participants said they are “very” or “fairly optimistic” about the economy, a big drop from 53% who felt the same way 5 years ago.

Yet 47% expect to receive 100% or more of their current income in retirement–even though fewer than 15% own annuity products, which can help generate supplemental retirement income, or other products, such as long term care insurance, designed to help pay for health care costs in retirement.

About 80% own mutual funds outside of their retirement plans. Of these, 61% plan to invest as much as or more than they did last year in funds outside their plans.

While 14% admit they know “little” or “next to nothing” about investments and other financial matters–about twice as many as 4 years ago–more than 33% don’t have a primary financial advisor. About 25% have a full-service broker.


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