Franklin Templeton Survey Reveals Differing Retirement Concerns, Priorities and Strategies for Americans Across Generations

From Franklin Resources, Inc.
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San Mateo, CA, November 29, 2011 – Nearly a third (31 percent) of Americans agree that running out of money is their top concern in retirement, and almost half of all respondents (47 percent) would keep working if they were unable to retire as planned, according to findings released today from the 2011 Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey.  Respondents indicated that their next most pressing retirement concerns, after running out of money, were healthcare expenses (27 percent) and changes to Social Security that could lead to a reduction or delay in benefits (15 percent).  

Top concerns, however, varied by age range.  Among those of traditional retirement age (65 or older), medical expenses (29 percent) and changes to Social Security (22 percent) topped the list of concerns, followed by running out of money (19 percent).   

Franklin Templeton’s RISE survey found that more than three-quarters (78 percent) of 35- to 44-year-olds are concerned about managing their retirement income to meet retirement expenses – the highest percentage among any age group.  While still a majority, this percentage decreases for younger age groups: 25- to 34-year-olds at 68 percent and 18- to 24-year-olds at 59 percent. 

“What the survey brings into focus is that Americans have differing views on expectations, timeframes and concerns surrounding retirement, especially among various age groups,” said David McSpadden, senior vice president of Global Advisory Services for Franklin Templeton Investments. “For example, when asked where most of their retirement income will come from, the top choice for those ages 18 to 44 was a 401(k) or other individually funded workplace plan.  For those 45 and over, it was Social Security. This indicates that younger individuals increasingly realize the need to take control of their retirement income needs.” 

Survey data also showed that while 41 percent of 35- to 44-year-old respondents are invested in a workplace retirement plan, a third (34 percent) of respondents in that age group said they haven’t thought about their approach to employing different sources of retirement income and less than a quarter (23 percent) currently work with a financial advisor. 

A quarter (25 percent) of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 plan to rely on Social Security as a primary means of income during retirement, and 26 percent believe a workplace retirement fund, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), will provide the most income during their retirement. 

Other key findings from the survey included:

  • Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 are almost as concerned with funding vacations and hobbies (12 percent) as they are with paying off their mortgage (15 percent) during retirement, though 60 percent said that paying off their mortgage is a goal by the time they reach retirement. 
  • 76 percent of those 65 or older said they are now more concerned by investment volatility than they were prior to the 2008 recession, versus 62 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds.
  • 65 percent of Americans aged 65 or older said they will have to work between one and 10 more years before being able to retire.
  • 46 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said they believed it would take between 40 and 50 years before they could retire – taking them into their late 60s and early 70s.


The Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey was conducted online among a sample of 2,046 adults comprising 1,020 men and 1,026 women 18 years of age or older. The survey was administered between September 15-18 and 19-21, 2011 by ORC International’s Online CARAVAN®. 

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. is a wholly-own subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over $694 billion in assets under management as of October 31, 2011. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit