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AARP: Self-actualizers more confident about finances, retirement

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Proactive self-actualizers are most confident about their retirement finances and doubters are least confident, according to new research

AARP discloses this finding in an October 2013 report, “Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey.” The second of a two-part study to examine pre-retirees’ views of retirement, the steps they’re taking to prepare for retirement and the opportunities to help, the study polled 2,480 adults ages 50 to 65 who are not yet fully retired and have $40,000 to $124,999 in household income.

The report finds that more than 7 in 10 (71 percent) of “proactive self-actualizers” — pre-retirees who enjoy higher income, savings and self-employments levels than their survey peers and are the most well educated — are confident they will have enough money in retirement. This compares with 42 percent of “cautious clock-watchers,” 22 percent of “day-to-day embracers,” and 7 percent of “doubters.”

The report describes that day-to-day embracers are most likely to be women, young, and have lower income and savings levels. Cautious clock-watchers are more likely to be male, less educated, have moderate income and savings levels, and are most likely to be working full-time. Doubters are on balance male, less educated, have the lowest income and savings levels and are most likely be self-employed.

The report adds that more than 8 in 10 (82 percent) of proactive self-actualizers are relatively pleased with their lives. This compares with 66 percent of day-to-day embracers, 65 percent of cautious clock-watchers and 35 percent of doubters.

Proactive self-actualizers also surpass the other peer groups in viewing themselves as planners (86 percent vs. 55 percent for all respondents); knowing what they want out of life and having a plan to make it happen (82 percent vs. 46 percent); and understanding how much money they’ll need to save for retirement (84 percent vs. 50 percent).

Additionally, the report states, self-actualizers and day-to-day embracers are most likely to equate retirement with creative pursuits (73 percent and 79 percent, respectively).


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