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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Wealthiest investors less likely to plan for retirement

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Many investors with income of $750,000 or more are less likely to have retirement plans than those at lower income levels, according to a report released Wednesday by Spectrem Group.

Fifteen percent of the highest income investors said they had no plans to retire, while 31 percent put their potential retirement age at “more than 70.”

Investors at lower income levels said they wanted to retire within 10 years, but were uncertain whether their current income and savings levels would enable them to do so.

The Spectrem study, conducted around the beginning of this year, comprised some 3,500 respondents across five income segments, ranging from less than $100,000 to $750,000 or more.

The chief personal financial concern of 65 percent investors across all income levels was maintaining their current financial position, according to the study. The number rose to 71 percent for those at the lowest income level, and was 52 percent for those at the highest end.

On the national level, the main concerns of investors were prolonged economic downturn, the political environment, government gridlock, the federal deficit and the national debt.

Most respondents believed they had reached their current income level through hard work. They also credited their education and frugality.

Investors’ portfolios were similar regardless of income except for those at the $750,000-plus level, who were likelier to own a business and have more cash available.

The study found that tolerance for risk and the level of knowledge about investments increased as income rose. Those with lower incomes felt less knowledgeable about investments, and therefore many sought a guaranteed rate of return.

Social responsibility, though growing as an investment concern, was not a predominant factor in choosing investments.

Households with the lowest and highest incomes were the most likely to consider themselves to be self-directed. Low-income investors tended to avoid advisors out of concern about fees or feeling their assets did not warrant use of an advisor.

High-income investors might not engage advisors because of confidence in their own investment acumen.

The study found that investors with the highest income were least likely to complain about their advisor’s lack of responsiveness.

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