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November 03, 2021

Most affluent investors expect to delay retirement: survey

The biggest fear for most people is outliving their money — exceeding taxes and health care, two other big concerns. And they’re right to be worried.

Part of the problem is simply that life spans have grown as corporate pensions have shrunk, making the economics of retirement more complicated.

Nonetheless, affluent investors feel better about their retirement propects than they did a year ago, according to recent research from brokerage giant Merrill Lynch.

Some 41 per cent of investors with at least $250,000 of investable assets say their finances are in better shape than last year, with 37 percent reporting no change.

Despite this, 61 per cent now expect to retire later than planned, up from 29 per cent in January.

And 21 per cent admit to dipping into their nest egg to meet regular monthly expenses or make up for reduced family income, explains Lyle LaMothe, head of U.S. wealth management at Merrill.

The number one lesson the affluent have learned from the recent recession: spend within their means.

Thirty seven per cent indicate they’re spending less today than they were one year ago, with 27 per cent cutting back on luxury items and vacations, and 23 per cent more closely managing day-to-day expenses and spending less.

The study also found that those with a bit of money to invest are continuing to take a more conservative approach. It reports that 39 per cent say they have a much lower risk tolerance, and are gravitating toward more conservative investment strategies as a result.

Sound like anybody you know? Have you been nibbling at retirement assets to pay the bills? Or are things looking up for you?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...