Seven in 10 U.S. investors are saving at least 10% of their annual income specifically for retirement, Schroders reported Tuesday. What’s prompting this disciplined, proactive behavior?
According to Schroders, the results of a new survey give a good indication. Fifty-one percent of respondents say reaching the age to qualify for Social Security would trigger their retirement, while a mere 4% state that hitting their retirement savings target would do so.
At the same time, 62% of study participants acknowledge that Social Security benefits are not enough to live on, and 48% worry about not having enough income in retirement.
Schroders said concerns about income security in retirement may also be a reason 35% of respondents state they would invest disposable income in their retirement savings or another type of investment, such as equities or bonds, versus the 5% who would spend it on a luxury item purchase.
“It’s very encouraging to see so many investors telling us they are saving at least 10% each year for their retirement, especially when you consider this survey was taken as COVID-19 was spreading in the second quarter,” Joel Schiffman, Schroders head of intermediary distribution for North America, said in a statement.
But Schiffman added a cautionary note: “If investors start taking their benefits as soon as they qualify for Social Security, they could be leaving money on the table. If they are able to delay by just a few years, they could enjoy higher levels of annual Social Security income for the rest of their lives. Judging by their expectations about spending, they may need it.”
Schroders conducted the online survey in the second quarter among some 23,000 investors from 32 locations around the globe. These included 1,500 U.S. respondents who said they would be investing at least $10,000 in the next 12 months and who had made changes to their investments within the last 10 years.
According to the survey, 37% of investors said they expected their working hours per week to stay the same or increase in retirement, and 56% said their spending habits in retirement also would increase or remain the same as they are today.
This comes close to what happened with investors in the survey who were already retired. Fifty-one percent of retirees said their spending had increased or stayed the same, and 31% said the same about their working hours.
In another finding, 50% of retired investors reported that they had added high-risk investments to their portfolios when the markets hit extreme volatility in February and March at the onset of the pandemic.
Another 28% of retirees stayed the course, making no changes to their portfolios.