Aviva Survey: Americans Plan to Work Longer

   WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 2/28/2011 - According to an international study conducted by Aviva in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific markets, 57 percent of Americans expect to work past their normal retirement date – the highest percentage among people in any of the 10 countries surveyed.
   That’s just one of several steps Americans are taking to address retirement concerns stemming from the recent recession, according to the survey. Results indicate Americans are more engaged than residents of any other country represented in the study by taking actions such as increasing retirement savings and reviewing retirement plans, in addition to the expectation to work later in life.   
   Thirty-five percent of Americans plan to put more money into retirement savings in the next 12 months – the highest response of any of the 10 countries surveyed and significantly higher than the 22 percent median positive response. Respondents in Spain (29 percent) and China (28 percent) were the only countries besides the U.S. where positive responses to the question about putting additional money aside for retirement in the next 12 months topped 25 percent.
    “Although they are concerned about whether they have saved enough and how they will maintain their standard of living in retirement, there is evidence more Americans are taking action to do something about their retirement worries,” said Aviva USA president and CEO Chris Littlefield. “It’s clear more Americans are prepared in the long term to work beyond the normal retirement age and plan to continue to save more for retirement.”
    The survey was conducted by global insurance company Aviva plc, the world’s sixth-largest insurance group with operations in 28 countries. In America, Aviva USA is a sales leader of indexed life insurance and indexed annuities.
    Aviva’s “Consumer Attitudes to Savings” survey has been conducted annually since 2004.
    In addition to working longer and saving more, 44 percent of Americans have reviewed their retirement/pension plans over the past 12 months, the highest percentage among the 10 countries Aviva surveyed. Although retirement planning activity is increasing, the survey found Americans generally are not comfortable with their current position: three out of five Americans who have not yet retired (62 percent) don’t think they will have enough money to have an adequate standard of living when they retire.
    The 57 percent of Americans who agreed with the statement “I think I am going to have to work beyond the normal retirement date to fund my retirement” was the highest percentage of agreement among all the countries surveyed, and 10 percent higher than the composite response of 47 percent agreement. Only one in seven Americans (15 percent) disagreed with the statement – the lowest disagreement response rate among the 10 countries surveyed.
   “We know that most people underestimate both how long they’ll live and how much money they will need to sustain them throughout retirement,” Littlefield said. “The best way to alleviate these concerns is to work with a professional financial and insurance advisor to help find solutions that guarantee lifetime income.
   Americans need to become better educated about the amount of savings required to comfortably retire as well as how they can protect their families financially in the event of the death of a wage earner.”
    The survey – which was fielded this past October and November – revealed 52 percent of Americans do not believe they have the necessary savings or investments to cope with an unexpected event. Only one in four believe they do.