Is this an age of anxiety or an age of serenity?
One insurance and financial services provider finds things are actually getting better: Lincoln Financial’s recent “M.O.O.D. of America” study — where the acronym stands for “Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction” — reports that the share of the population optimistic about the future is at 80 percent, higher by eight points from 2011, the last time the company did the research.
Guess what keeps Americans up at night, according to the study? Top financial concerns are personal debt (cited by 39 percent of respondents), retirement planning (32 percent) and taxes (31 percent).
Taxes are beyond the control of mere mortals, but retirement planning is not. And fewer than two of 10 (only 18 percent) ages 55-64 call themselves “very prepared” financially for retirement.
Ah, retirement. That term means something different this year than just two years ago – so recent trends in boomer demographics might not be baked in to the numbers we’re seeing in this interesting survey.
First, the economy was more difficult for many in 2011 than this year. Second, Americans in general are really just beginning to become widely aware of the trends we at WAHVE have been exploring since our founding in 2010. Concepts such as phased retirement, part-time work, and remote work are fairly new to many boomers. And the idea of finding a new career in retirement simply hasn’t sunk in across the board just yet.
The Lincoln research took place in March 2013 with 2,322 respondents 18 years of age and older across the United States.
— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)