Where you live may have a big impact on both your emotional and financial preparation for retirement, according to survey released Tuesday by Ameriprise Financial.
In some areas, especially Minneapolis-St Paul, Raleigh-Durham and Nashville, residents make retirement planning a priority. In Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Orlando, residents are more likely struggling with their current financial concerns.
The New Retirement Mindscape 2010 City Pulse Index survey asked residents about their savings habits, if they knew how much they needed for retirement, how confident they were about reaching their goals, and what activities they looked forward to in retirement.
And although one retirement strategy is to relocate while you’re still working, warm weather isn’t the draw you’d expect. Nearly half of Orlando residents are inclined to leave when they retire, and 71% of residents of Minneapolis planned to stay.
New Yorkers and residents of Washington, D.C., were relatively likely to be saving, but anxious about the future.
The survey of 10,028 U.S. adults ages 40-75 was conducted online by Harris Interactive from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11.
A quarter of those surveyed reported that the current economy had either affected their plans or they would have to postpone retirement.
Only 2% said they planned to take a retirement job.
Residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul scored significantly higher than the national average on nearly every point. Eighty-three percent of respondents from the area say they have set aside money for retirement, compared to a national average of 69%. Nearly half (48%) of Twin Cities residents report feeling “on track” for retirement and 30% say they are “very confident” in their financial future.
Perhaps surprisingly, residents of the area aren’t racing to escape the long, cold winters, or at least aren’t planning to relocate. The median incomes and investable assets reported by residents of the Twin Cities were substantially higher than the national average.
In Raleigh-Durham, residents were financially prepared and 80% of people surveyed say they’ve given a lot of thought to the activities they’d like to pursue during retirement. Nashville residents were also giving thought to retirement activities. And while the area shows only average levels of financial preparation, half of those surveyed report that they feel “on track” for retirement.
At the other end of the scale, in Los Angeles, more immediate financial concerns are running the show. More than a third of area residents surveyed say they’ve experienced a career set-back or layoff in the past 18 months and 22% report that they are currently unemployed, but planning to return to work. This helps explain why 37% of its residents admit that they haven’t given much thought to preparing for retirement – and only 57% have set aside money.
In Indianapolis, 31% of retirees say the economy has impacted their retirement plans, compared to 25%)of retirees nationally. Just 42% of those surveyed from the region have set aside money into their own savings or investments, and 60% of people associate emotions like “happiness” and “optimism” with retirement.
Residents of Washington D.C., ranking 23rd on the list, were well-prepared but gloomy. The metro ranked sixth on preparation factors alone, and 80% of its residents are setting aside money for retirement – second only to top-ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul. However, 40% of those surveyed express negative feelings when they think about retirement, and the metro area ranked second to last on confidence factors.
New Yorkers are also anxious and only a third associate feelings of “happiness” with retirement. One explanation is that they’ve seen people forced out of the workplace or have been pushed aside themselves . Twenty-two percent of the retirees surveyed in New York say they retired early because of a career setback or layoff.
San Franciscans ranked fourth for preparation but 18th on confidence, with 36% saying they planned to delay retirement for financial reasons.
In Detroit (#21), Tampa (#19) and St. Louis (#17), preparation lags significantly behind confidence. Whether people from these areas are overly confident or simply more resilient, it appears their emotions have made a faster recovery than the economy.