Americans Adapting New Mindset for Funding Their Retirement
AIG Life and Retirement Survey of Americans 55 and Older Finds a Generation
Growing More Cautious and Realistic Regarding Their Long-Term Retirement
LOS ANGELES -- December 03, 2012
While the U.S. economy has accelerated in the last year, Americans 55 and
older – many of whom saw their retirements stung by the financial crisis – are
course-correcting their lifestyle plans, work/leisure expectations and
investing strategies, according to a study released today by AIG Life and
Retirement in collaboration with Age Wave.
According to the AIG Retirement Re-Set Study, 72% of the survey respondents
said the recent economic uncertainty provided a “financial wake-up call.” And
80% of those 55 and older said they are now more cautious in their approach to
investing. They are far more likely to seek financial peace of mind as a key
goal versus potentially higher – but riskier – returns.
“Americans are rightfully concerned about retirement and more careful in their
investment strategies,” said Jay Wintrob, President and CEO of AIG Life and
Retirement. “The 2008 global financial crisis provided a financial wake-up
call that people have taken to heart. They are now seeking a safer and more
predictable road to retirement, one with less risk and more financial
“In a new era of flux and uncertainty, Americans are rebounding from a
difficult period and showing their resilience by turning toward greater
expense control and more responsible retirement planning,” said Ken Dychtwald,
CEO of Age Wave. “Lessons learned have not been forgotten. Many people are
adapting a new retirement mindset and are choosing to work a bit longer,
thereby helping to make retirement more affordable. They are re-setting their
sights on a revised, more achievable path to retirement.”
The 2012 survey, conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive among 3,426 respondents aged 55 or older, follows last year’s
noteworthy study which unearthed a new approach to post-recession retirement
strategies. AIG Life and Retirement and Age Wave first partnered in 2001 on a
groundbreaking Re-Visioning Retirement Survey.
This year’s survey found that more than four times as many people chose saving
enough to have “financial peace of mind” (61%) as a top financial priority
compared to accumulating as much wealth as possible (14%).
Eight times as many people (32%) plan to look into ways to protect existing
assets than those who plan to invest more aggressively to make up for lost
time (4%) in response to the recent economic and financial market uncertainty.
And 54% expressed concern about their personal financial situation, saying
they felt less financially secure than they did a year ago.
“The impact of the most difficult economy in generations has left a lasting
impression, with Americans seeing their retirement savings jeopardized by low
interest rates and high market volatility,” Mr. Wintrob said. “While the stock
market and economy have somewhat rebounded, the confidence that many Americans
once had has diminished. People are now looking for stable, lower-risk
strategies that will provide the income and security they need in retirement.”
According to Dr. Dychtwald, “It’s notable that protecting themselves and their
families from investment surprises is of utmost importance to men and women
nearing or in retirement. While there has been a great deal of discussion
about the economic impact of the past few years, this survey revealed that the
psychological impact was also substantial – and a new mindset is emerging.
Today, people are far more likely to recognize the need to scale back some of
their retirement expectations while stepping up their saving and responsible
“Financial peace of mind is critical for Americans today,” Mr. Wintrob said.
“We are keenly focused on providing the protection, investment and income
solutions needed for financial and retirement security, and I’m confident that
the entire financial services industry will play an important role in helping
Americans improve their retirement outlook and prepare for tomorrow.”
For more information regarding this national study and its findings, please
AIG Retirement Re-Set Study Methodology
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive within the United
States on behalf of AIG Life and Retirement and AgeWave between August 28 –
September 7, 2012 among a nationwide cross section of 3,426 adults aged 55 and
over. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full
methodology is available.
About AIG Life and Retirement
AIG Life and Retirement is one of the largest and strongest life insurance and
retirement services organizations in the United States. The organization
traces its origins to 1850 and today is among the largest issuers of annuities
and life insurance in the United States, as well as a leading provider of
defined contribution plans in the education and healthcare markets. Through
its American General, AGLA, VALIC, Western National, SunAmerica, FSC
Securities, Royal Alliance, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial brands,
it offers a diversified portfolio of life insurance, investment and retirement
savings products. AIG Life and Retirement serves over 18 million customers and
its products are sold by over 300,000 financial professionals. For more
information, please visit www.aig.com/lifeandretirement.
About Age Wave
Age Wave is the nation’s foremost thought leader on population aging and its
profound business, social, healthcare, financial, workforce and cultural
implications.Under the leadership of Founder/CEO Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave
has developed a unique understanding of the body, mind, hopes and demands of
new generations of maturing consumers and workers and their expectations,
attitudes, hopes, and fears regarding retirement.Since its inception in 1986,
the firm has provided breakthrough research, compelling presentations,
award-winning communications, educationand training systems and
results-driven marketing and consulting initiatives to over half the Fortune
500.For more information, please visit www.agewave.com.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary
solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and
reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and
communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of
industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy,
telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant,
and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of
multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing
our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients –
stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance
organization serving customers in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions.
AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers
through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any
insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance
and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on
the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and
retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group,
Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All
products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of
American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available
in all jurisdictions, and coverage is subject to actual policy language.
Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third
parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus
lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state
guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.
Jon Diat, 917-239-9241
Larry Mark, 310-772-6534
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