Many of my friends are already retired, whether they have money or not. And, I keep hearing all the time the same question: When will I pack it in? After all, I’ve been at this for the past 45 years and you know something, I still love it. I may be one of the few people who on a Sunday night has trouble sleeping because I can’t wait to get to the office Monday morning.
Of course, I would have to love what I am doing to get up at 4:30 each morning and travel the two hours to get into the office but I began to wonder whether it was just me or did other people feel the same. To answer that question, one obviously can’t turn to those who must work to make ends meet. So, I went out in search of the wealthy Americans who didn’t need to work. I found an answer from my friends at The Phoenix Companies who are pretty good at providing personal financial and business planning needs and who just completed its eighth annual Phoenix Wealth Survey.
What did they find? For one, wealthy Americans indicate they are putting off retirement because they enjoy working. That heats the cockles of my heart -- if indeed the heart has any cockles. But behind that statement is the fact that they also say the delay in retiring is somewhat driven by concerns surrounding healthcare and long-term living expenses, as well as the desire to maintain their current standard of living. It sounds like a contradiction. After all, if you are deemed wealthy (whatever that means), then why do you have long-term living concerns? This is generally fueled by a bevy of “experts” who recommend that most retirees will need approximately 80 percent of their peak working income in retirement. However, a full 47 percent of those surveyed by Phoenix expect to rely on 100 percent or more of their current income in retirement.
Naturally, what comes to mind is this: are these people getting any specific advice as to their individual condition or are they just flying by the seat of their pants taking in the so-called “experts” opinions? According to Dr. Walter Zultowski, senior vp of research and concept development at Phoenix, “More than a third of the respondents don’t have a primary financial advisor, and the number of the wealthiest consumers who have a full-service broker dropped to 25 percent -- the lowest in the survey’s history.” Zultowski points out that a growing number -- 14 percent -- admit they know little or next to nothing about investments and other financial matters. This, he says, is twice as high as just four years ago.
It would seem then that younger and older millionaires alike are still searching for the right kind of financial advice, that the overwhelming majority lack a written financial plan, and one-third do not even have a primary financial advisor.
Hey, financial planners out there! Here’s your opportunity. These people are still working. Go help them out.
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