Americans Feel Financially Unprepared for Longer Lives

June 28, 2016, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Americans Feel Financially Unprepared for Longer Lives

Americans are happier to be living longer than ever, but 70% feel financially unprepared to live to 100 or beyond. These are the findings of a recent Allianz Life study.

The Gift of Time, which surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 70, discovered that respondents knew a longer life would give them the opportunity to reach their dreams and feel more fulfilled. However, money fears and lack of planning are stopping many from taking risks and pursuing these goals.

While Millennials and GenXers have the most time to follow their dreams, a great majority (79% of GenXers and 74% of Millennials) feel unprepared for a longer life. 57% of Baby Boomers also feel financially unprepared.

When considering the future, 45% of the respondents said they felt “uncertain” about living a longer life, and more than half (51%) feared that not “having enough money to last my whole life” filled them with the most apprehension.

But most respondents said they knew solutions existed to help them live to 100 happily. Over half (51%) said they knew they needed a better spending and savings plan, while 37% acknowledged they may need to work longer and retire later.

A possible solution may be to hire help. The study found people feel happier and more comfortable when they work with financial professionals. 79% reported feeling better about major life choices when they worked with someone, while only 64% of those who made the decision on their own felt good about it. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans (72%) do not work with financial professionals.

Despite the financial implications, with proper planning, a longer life is an exciting prospect.

“Having 30 extra years opens the door to taking a nontraditional life path. Now, more than any other time in history, people can create a strategy that gives them the chance to live their adult lives on their own terms–not according to traditional or societal standards,” aid Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe.

Other key findings include:

  • To further understand consumer attitudes about living happier lives, respondents were asked to finish this sentence: “following your dreams is all well and good, but you need to have…” 57% said the top barrier would be having “enough money” and 50% cited “a good financial plan” as the top barriers.
  • Respondents were also asked about regrets. 52% said they had wished they had saved more money, while 38% wished they had traveled. 32% said they regretted not spending more time with their children.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 28, 2016. For up-to-date
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About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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