Headlines you need to know this week
Retirement challenges not unique to the United StatesIndividuals planning for retirement in several countries share many of the same concerns as those in the United States, an international survey found. The study, which surveyed individuals in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, found that respondents were concerned about how much to save for retirement and assessing the impact of longevity risk and health-care costs.
Health-care costs cut into savingsHealth-care costs have been increasing according to most respondents in a survey of workers spanning generations from millennials to boomers. As a result, 56% of employees say they are spending less or reducing contributions to other financial goals. A full 63% said they are saving less for retirement, 48% are not paying down as much debt, and 39% said they are investing less.
Millennial parents saving more than other generationsMillennial parents are saving at higher rates than other generations. According to a recent survey, millennial parents (ages 18–34) are saving for retirement at a median rate of 10% of income, compared with 8% for Gen X parents (ages 35–54), and 5% for boomer parents (ages 55+).
Investor confidence jumped in SeptemberInvestor confidence in the economy rose significantly in September, according to the Spectrem Group’s Millionaire Investor Confidence Index. Long-term confidence in the economy among millionaires rose to its highest level since 2011. Among non-millionaires, “affluent” investors noted becoming more active in the markets.
The SEC is drafting a fiduciary rule proposalThe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is drafting a proposal for a uniform fiduciary standard, the agency’s Chairman Jay Clayton recently told the House Committee on Financial Services. In June, the SEC issued a request for comments and has received more than 150 comments from stakeholders, the report said.
Making ends meet is a challenge for manyMore than 40% of adults struggle to make ends meet, according to a new survey. One-third, or 34%, reported experiencing a financial hardship in the past year, including not having enough money for food, rent, or a medical bill. Those age 65 and older reported having better levels of financial well-being.
Lawmaker introduces bill to eliminate DOL fiduciary ruleCongresswoman Ann Wagner (MO) last week introduced a bill to repeal the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The bill, Protecting Access for Small Savers Act, would keep fiduciary rulemaking under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
More parents are saving for their child’s educationThe number of parents saving for their children’s college education has reached an all-time high according to the College Savings Foundation. In a recent survey, 83% of parents reported that they are saving for college and 75% say that they are saving on a regular basis. Additionally, 38% of parents noted they saved more this year than last year. A full 57% said they began saving when their child turned five years old.
More millennials want to buy homes than older generationsA recent study found that 48% of millennials said they plan to buy a home in the next five years, compared with 33% of Gen X and only 16% of baby boomers. In the survey, millennials cited saving money for the down payment as the biggest obstacle. Most surveyed believed they needed 20% for a down payment and were not aware of other lower down payment options.
Income uncertainty weighs on women’s risk toleranceWomen may be less risk tolerant than men but the catalyst is income uncertainty, according to a University of Missouri study. In analyzing more than 2,200 unmarried individuals in the Survey of Consumer Finances, researchers found that women are more likely to have uncertain incomes from one year to the next. Life events and caregiving affect income levels. The study also found that men and women receive different types of advice from advisors.
Millennials drive growth in sustainable investing: studyMillennials are driving growth in the $9 trillion sustainable investing market, a Morgan Stanley study found. Interest among millennials grew to 86% in 2017 from 84% in 2015. Millennials are twice as likely to invest in funds with social or environmental goals. Investment products focused on sustainable investing grew at a rate of more than 33% from 2014 to 2016.
Financial literacy an issue for retirees, especially womenA recent survey from the American College of Financial Services found that retirement-age women lagged men in their knowledge about securing income in retirement. Although neither group were high scorers, 18% of women passed the college’s retirement-income literacy quiz, compared with 35% of men. The study also noted that effective planning is linked to financial literacy.
Advisors organizing family meetings to talk wealth transferMany financial advisors are introducing new programs and ideas to talk to their clients, as well as their families, about wealth transfer, CNBC reports. With more than $30 trillion expected to move from boomers to the next generation in the coming decades, heirs will likely need guidance. Some are organizing meetings with multiple generations. Younger advisors are also playing a role in this business building effort.
Robo-users prefer human advisors when creating a planDespite the rise in use of robo-advisors, many investors prefer to work with a human when crafting a financial plan, according to Investor’s Business Daily. Among investors using a robo-advisor surveyed by the Spectrem Group, only 13% cited the robo as their primary advisor, while 18% said they use a full-service broker as a primary advisor. A full 66% said human advisors did a better job creating financial plans and 50% said people were more capable of making changes to those plans.
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