This month, insurers publishing consumers survey reports have been taking a new approach: focusing on the characteristics of people who are doing things right.
Analysts at Principal Financial Group Inc. looked at 1,498 “super savers” — and they found evidence that super savers may spread super saving.
Principal came up with the sample by looking at participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans that use Principal as the recordkeeper. Principal surveyed plan participants born from 1965 through 1995 who have either reached the individual retirement account (IRA) maximum contribution limit or who have reached 90% of the retirement plan contribution maximum.
Principal classified the super savers born from 1965 through 1977 as members of Generation X, and the super savers born from 1978 through 1995 as Millennials.
Principal analysts found that the super savers tend to be good retirement savers mainly because they feel as if they have the income to save, and they want to have a good lifestyle in retirement.
Few list “loss of faith in Social Security” or wanting to leave an inheritance as major reasons for saving.
Many say they accept high levels of work-related stress and long hours at work to generate the income they need to save.
Jerry Patterson, a senior vice president at Principal, said in a statement about the results that he believes the super savers are incredibly driven.
“These individuals have said, ‘My future is important, and I’m going to save to make it great,’’” Patterson said.
But typical super savers seem to focus more on generating more income, and on taking a moderate approach to frugality, than on depriving themselves of a decent standard of living today: Few say they do things like opting for secondhand goods or putting off starting a family for the sake of increasing their retirement savings.