Which of the following financial goals do high-net-worth investors rank as their top priority?
1) Saving for retirement
2) Leaving a legacy to heirs
Believe the answer to be (2)? Think again. According to a new TIAA-CREF survey, generating income in retirement and accumulating savings in retirement are the top priorities for, respectively, 50 percent and 41 percent of affluent investors. By comparison, just 5 percent of affluent investors identify leaving a legacy as a top priority.
The report, “TIAA-CREF Affluent Investor Barometer,” polled 1,242 household financial decision makers who have $250,000-plus in investable assets. The survey aimed to assess respondents’ attitudes, preferences and behaviors related to financial planning and investing.
The report observes that 6 in 10 affluent investors use the services of a financial advisor. This compares to 39 percent of the general population.
A similar majority than 6 in 10 (63 percent) of those polled say they are bullish on the economy. The sentiment is more evident among men than among women (73 percent versus 51 percent).
Wealthier investors have a more positive outlook on the economy than those who have less in assets, the survey adds. When asked what would be most likely to make them feel less confident about the economy, respondents cited:
Geopolitical instability (28 percent)
Market volatility (24 percent); and
A rise in the unemployment rate (17 percent)
These concerns, the report adds, also vary in degree by gender and wealth.
“Men worry more about geopolitical instability, while women are more concerned about market volatility,” the report states. “Investors with $5 million or more in investable assets are far more concerned about a decrease in equity prices (17 percent versus 5 percent of all respondents).”
See the charts beginning on the next page for additional highlights from the TIAA-CREF survey.
As the chart below shows, many affluent investors meet with advisors well in advance of retirement. Six in ten did so before age 45. Only 14 percent say they waited until they approached retirement (age 55 to 64) to begin consulting with an advisor.