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Older Workers Span Risk Tolerance Spectrum

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U.S. residents born in the early and middle baby boom years are about evenly divided when it comes to how much variation in investment performance they are willing to accept in exchange for an opportunity to increase returns.

Researchers at Transamerica Retirement Management Inc., St. Paul, Minn., a unit of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands, have published that finding in a summary of results from a Web-based survey of 2,015 U.S. workers ages 50 and older.

About 58% of the participants said they agree with the saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” and 48% said they agree with the saying, “No risk, no reward.”

When participants were asked about how they actually want to handle their savings as they age, 54% said they would prefer to use guaranteed, safe investments, even if the returns on those investments were relatively low.

When participants were presented with a discussion of the idea that investors who want higher returns need to accept investment risk, 36% of the participants continued to say they prefer the low-risk path, and 28% said they would choose to use higher-risk investment vehicles in exchange for an opportunity to earn higher returns.

About 34% said they were willing to accept moderate amounts of investment risk.

The Transamerica researchers also found that leaving an estate for children ranked relatively low on participants’ list of retirement priorities.

Only 34% of the participants listed leaving an estate as a key retirement goal, while 88% described having good health insurance as a top retirement goal, and 85% described having enough money to pay medical bills as a top goal.

About 50% said it is important for them to have enough to travel frequently when they are retired.


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