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Adaptability to change shapes retirement confidence

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Much has been written about the gap between baby boomers’ personal optimism and the financial realities they face in retirement. A study from SecurePath by Transamerica reaffirms the gap exists. But the study also finds that boomers – pre-retirees, to be specific – may be more comfortable and ready for change than most people think.

Sixty-five percent of Americans in the 50-plus age group who are still working say they are becoming more comfortable with change and uncertainty as they age. Half of those surveyed say they are at their best during times of change. Two-thirds are confident everything will work out for them, even with all the uncertainty surrounding retirement, and 73 percent claim they will handle aging’s uncertainty quite well.

The study used respondents’ answers to break pre-retirees into four groups, based on their general attitudes toward change: Venturers, Adapters, Anchoreds and Pursuers.

Venturers almost all find change exciting; with 62 percent saying they seek out change over consistency. Adapters find change stressful but exciting, though they tend to shy away from it. Three-fourths believe what they do or don’t do will determine how their retirement turns out. Anchoreds look for consistency over change. Only 55 percent feel they have enough money to get by in retirement. Pursuers prefer change but admit they don’t always handle it well.

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