Financial Risk & Investor Attitudes Study

Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), today unveiled new research on how U.S. investors perceive financial risk and how those feelings shape investment decision-making. The Financial Risks & Investor Attitudes study uncovered that a vast majority of respondents (73%) tend to avoid risk entirely or weigh risk very carefully when engaging in financial decisions. With the recent market volatility as a backdrop, these respondents admit that by taking a more proactive role in their financial education and investing strategies, they could better understand and embrace a level of financial risk that could potentially benefit their portfolios. 
“Investing for the long-term, while also trying to navigate market swings, is one of the biggest challenges facing investors,” says Marcy Keckler, vice president of Financial Advice Strategy at Ameriprise. “Whether you are an experienced investor or beginning to build your retirement nest egg, having a comprehensive financial plan and understanding how risk factors into your plan can help build financial confidence.”

Retirement 2.0 Study

 Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), today released the results of the new Retirement 2.0SM  study, revealing that the majority of Gen Xers (76%) report proactively planning for their retirement, with eight in 10 (79%) respondents currently saving through a 401(k) plan, and seven in 10 (69%) investing in an IRA or similar account.

The Retirement 2.0 study, which surveyed more than 1,500 Americans between the ages of 35-50 with at least $100,000 in investable assets, took a comprehensive look at how Gen X is approaching retirement. The study also explored how they have invested and saved for this major milestone; and how they expect to spend their retirement years. Encouragingly, the study found that Gen Xers began planning for retirement early and started saving at the average age of 26. They anticipate relying on their 401(k) accounts (42%) or IRAs (29%) as their main sources of income during retirement, while pensions (14%) and Social Security (5%) are expected to take a back seat as primary sources of retirement funding.

Retirement Triggers Study

Choosing to retire is the biggest financial decision most people will make during their lifetimes, and numerous factors influence how and when an individual chooses to pull the retirement trigger. The Retirement Triggers study, commissioned by Ameriprise Financial, examines the financial and emotional aspects of retirement preparation that recent retirees say led them to have the confidence to officially enter retirement.

We asked for input from the first wave of retiring baby boomers to understand how various actions, plans and life events played a role in making the decision to leave their primary profession. After hearing from 1,000 respondents who have been formally retired for five years or less, we learned more about the elements within their careers, families, social circles and bank accounts that led them to have the confidence to retire.

Health, Wealth and Retirement Study

Countless unknowns accompany planning for retirement. Economic conditions, long-term market performance and inflation are all uncertainties that baby boomers grapple with as this milestone draws near. But one of the most pressing — and indeed most personal — issues people will contend with on their path to retirement is the state of their health.

Recent changes in health care policy stemming from the enactment of the Affordable Care Act have put a spotlight on the rising cost of health care in the United States. Around the country, Americans are sorting out how much money they need to set aside to cover health care related expenses, and how they’ll keep pace with future increases.

Women and Financial Power Study

Women are continuing to gain more and more power economically, politically and socially. Today there are three times as many women earning college degrees than in 1970, and 71 percent of mothers with children under age 18 are working.1 Only 40 years have passed since the Equal Credit Opportunity Act made it illegal for lenders to discriminate based on gender, and the number of women-owned businesses rose 44 percent between 1997 and 2007 – and has likely continued to grow since then.2

But when it comes to household finances – saving for retirement, managing budgets and making insurance and investment decisions – how are women involved, and what motivates their role in making financial decisions? That is what the Women and Financial PowerSM study set out to understand. The data uncovered that nearly every American woman surveyed is influencing these decisions or making them on her own; and those women nearing retirement, one of life’s biggest milestones, are most engaged in and confident about their finances.

Financial Trade-Offs Study

Americans juggle multiple financial goals through various life stages, but it can be a challenge for many to strike a balance between pursuing short-term needs and wants while saving for the future. People of all ages and incomes make lifestyle choices that affect their immediate financial situation — and often these decisions have long- term effects.

We conducted the Financial Trade-Offs study among three generations of Americans to discover which financial needs and goals they prioritize, and which trade-offs they consciously make to meet these goals. What we found is that most people say they are generally willing to make trade-offs today in order to save for tomorrow. However, their financial actions — and the bills they have yet to pay — suggest they may not always be thinking about what will have the biggest long-term impact.

New Retirement Mindscape 2013 City Pulse Index

For the fourth consecutive year, Ameriprise Financial polled Americans in the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine their retirement readiness. The New Retirement Mindscape® 2013 City Pulse index measures American consumers’ preparation for and confidence about retirement by asking them about their savings habits and expectations for their financial futures. Along with taking the nation’s pulse on financial preparedness and attitudes, the survey also explores the activities people intend to pursue during retirement. Metro areas are then ranked against one another to determine which American cities are most or least ready for retirement.

The data compiled over four years also helps identify meaningful changes from year to year. This provides an indication of how local and national developments may come into play in determining the degree to which individuals feel ready for retirement.

Retirement Derailers Survey

Recent research from various sources has uncovered an alarming trend in financial planning in America: As a whole, Americans nearing retirement are underprepared. An October/November 2012 survey of people ages 50–70 shows that fewer than half (46%) report feeling extremely or very confident that they’ll be able to afford the essentials in retirement. Their concerns may be valid. The same study uncovered a gap of approximately $250,000 between what respondents think they need to retire comfortably and what they’ve set aside for their time post-career.

Less studied are the reasons why Americans are so ill-equipped to fund this major life stage. What events have transpired to make retirement financially burdensome even for those who have long planned their exit from the workplace?

Retirement Check-In Survey


Baby boomers are a bundle of contradictions when it comes to how they say they feel about their retirement. But while their financial attitudes may shift, the actions they’re taking to prepare financially for retirement remain stagnant. And actions — or failure to act — tell a part of the story that words and sentiments do not.

The Retirement Check-In® survey sets out to examine the disconnect between the expectations that Americans maintain for their retirement and the financial actions they’ve taken to meet those expectations. It aims to expose the gap between what people feel when they think about retirement and whether the actions they’re taking to prepare align with their levels of confidence. Ultimately, the study also reveals what many Americans are planning to do so that they can feel financially confident in retirement, despite economic challenges.

New Retirement Mindscape 2012 City Pulse Index

The New Retirement Mindscape® 2012 City Pulse index examines the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine where consumers are the most prepared for and confident about retirement. Now in its third year, the index also measures retirement trends over time on both a national and local level.
Metropolitan areas are scored based on responses to a national online survey which compares consumers’ likelihood to have determined the amount of money they need to save for retirement and their actual saving habits. The index also takes into account if people have planned for a variety of activities during retirement and expressed confidence about achieving their retirement goals.