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Worldwide Worry Retirement Angst Global, Says Study

November 15, 2007
Related Topics: Future Workplace, Retirement/Pensions, Workforce Planning, Latest News
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Americans aren’t the only ones panicking about the state of their retirement.

Four out of five U.S. respondents says that they are concerned on some level about whether they would have enough money in retirement, according to research from the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

Britons echoed that sentiment—as 65.6 percent of those surveyed agree.

That anxiety spans the globe, as numerous Asian respondents also voice their worries on funding their retirement.

“Across the globe, people are worried that their government plans and pensions are insufficient,” says Liz Zlatkus, Hartford Life’s co-chief operating officer and president of the firm’s international wealth management division.

“People just aren’t confident in their investing ability, and they need to be educated,” she added.

Longer life expectancies and declining birth rates—an indication of a shrinking workforce ahead—are making soon-to-be retirees in Asia nervous, Zlatkus adds.

In Japan, 69.4 percent of people over 45 say that they lacked confidence in financial planning, as did 42.7 percent of South Koreans polled.

This lack of confidence is a factor in skittish investing, Zlatkus says. About 80 percent of South Koreans and 69 percent of the Japanese consumers are highly risk averse.

As a result, these consumers have high savings rates, but opt to place their money into low-risk and low-yield investments.

Stateside respondents were in a rosier frame of mind: 67.3 percent described themselves as being confident on some level with their financial planning know-how.

Nevertheless, 42.3 percent of U.S. consumers say that they had not improved their retirement finances in the last year.

More than 70 percent of Japanese respondents and 50.8 percent of those in the U.K. were also at a financial standstill for retirement.

“The takeaway is that people know what they want to do, and they know that they’ll need more money, but they’re not doing very much about it,” Zlatkus says.

This story was filed by Darla Mercado of Investment News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, please e-mail editors@workforce.com. To discuss this article, please click here to visit our community center forums.

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