Mar 15 2010

Retirement Preparedness and Savings Choices in 2005-2009


What are the current trends in retirement preparedness and savings choices? In Filene’s continuation of the Consumer Finance Monthly (CFM) series, we explore:

  • A market analysis of retirement preparedness, saving choices, and general trends from 1952 to 2009.
  • CFM household data including net worth, household income, and the net worth to income ratio.
  • CFM household data components of net worth and saving choices.
  • A key set of strategic implications for credit unions based on the research findings.

Our key finding: Not much has changed. The value of real estate assets and investments in complex products (e.g., mutual funds and bonds) fell, while Americans of all ages hoard their cash. But despite the deepest economic recession in the modern economy, there has not been a large change in Americans’ retirement preparedness. The findings may be remarkably unremarkable, but there are still significant strategic implications for credit unions. Credit unions have a storied past of being banks for beginners. This research identifies an opportunity for credit unions to suit up and manage a critical life event for members, the accumulation and de-cumulation stages of retirement. Americans may or may not be prepared to retire, but credit unions can position themselves to help members prepare and navigate this critical life event.

Mark Meyer
Mark Meyer
President + CEO
Filene Research Institute
Report Number 205