Americans are more likely to have talked about their own death than retirement, and they’re more comfortable having the “birds and the bees” talk than any conversation related to money.
Northwestern Mutual’s “2014 Planning and Progress Study” found that conversations about money outrank any other uncomfortable conversation topic among Americans—including the “birds and the bees,” asking adult-age children to get a job or move out, and death.
According to the study, more than two in five Americans have not spoken to anyone about their retirement. Only 39% of those surveyed have talked to their spouse or partner about retirement.
“Starting the dialogue can be the most difficult part, but people need to realize the significant benefits of openly communicating their financial and retirement goals,” said Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual president, in a statement. “A financial professional can be a valuable resource who can facilitate discussions about long-term goals and planning; listen to your needs and goals; and work with you to remove anxiety about affording retirement.”
The study also found that those who were nearest to retirement age were the least optimistic that they will retire at the “traditional” age of 65.