Lincoln Financial Group offers a new way to help people take an optimistic approach to saving for retirement. Based on independent research licensed by Lincoln Financial Group, the Lincoln Financial Life Stages Study: Retirement Power (the Study), Lincoln has identified an easy-to-use retirement planning score, giving people a simple way to understand and track their retirement readiness. An individual’s Lincoln Retirement Power SM score is an assets-to-income ratio that can help Americans monitor their retirement savings progress at every stage of their lives.
According to the Study, which is based on the insights of the savings profiles and behaviors of almost 1,200 retirees who achieved various levels of savings in preparing for retirement, savers should aim to hit the savings benchmark of at least 10 times (10X) their income at a typical retirement age, coupled with pro-active retirement savings behaviors. To determine what 10X means to a particular saver, individuals simply multiple their annual income by 10. This score is an evolving target that adjusts as income changes throughout a lifetime, allowing people to improve their numbers incrementally as they save, and measure how they stack up relative to their peers and overall savings goals. The 10X score can help people gain perspective on the need for retirement planning.
"The 10X assets-to-income ratio is a guide that can help people determine how they can be better prepared for retirement," said Chuck Cornelio, President, Defined Contribution, Lincoln Financial Group. "By encouraging savers to easily track their progress throughout their saving years, Lincoln is revitalizing the retirement planning process with a spirit of optimism. We believe we can help motivate people to take actions that lead to better retirement outcomes."
Study Identifies Four Behaviors Contributing to Retirement Success
To understand how people can reach their retirement goal, the Study analyzed a subgroup of almost 1,200 retirees, segmented by those who achieved the 10X benchmark and those who did not. By examining the variations in behavior among the two groups, Lincoln identified four pro-active retirement planning behaviors commonly cited by those with high assets-to-income ratios. The behaviors that lead to better outcomes are:
- Getting advice from a financial professional.
- Participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or IRA.
- Saving steadily, and making extra contributions in "power-saving" years, and
- Having an investment strategy.
The research also identified three behaviors retirees who reached the 10X goal didn’t rely on. Surprisingly, those behaviors are:
- Receiving an inheritance.
- Selling a primary home or making money through real estate.
- Selling a business or shares in a former employer’s company stock.
"Contrary to popular belief, the results show that certain behaviors many savers think may be part of their retirement strategy, like selling a home or receiving an inheritance, weren’t a factor in top-saving retirees’ action plans," stated Garry Spence, Head of Defined Contribution Worksite Services, Lincoln Financial Group. "Following the four simple savings behaviors of real retirees who report they are successfully retired, may help people have a greater chance at a positive impact on retirement savings."
The Study reinforces Lincoln’s recommendations for actions that lead to better retirement outcomes.
1. Know your assets-to-income ratio — at retirement, 10X is a possible target
2. Track your milestone progress — are you at 1X, 4X, 11X?
3. Pro-actively manage your savings
- Get advice from a financial professional
- Participate in retirement plans at work (and IRAs)
- Save steadily and "power save" whenever possible
- Have an investment strategy
- Finally, don’t count on windfalls like an inheritance, or proceeds from selling company stock, a business or your home.
"The Study gives hope to people anxious about their future and a refreshing, positive outlook on retirement planning," Cornelio added. "By using the score as a guide and adopting the four behaviors, Americans can feel in charge of their retirement savings at every stage of their lives."
About the Survey
The Lincoln Financial Life Stages Study: Retirement Power was conducted by research firm Hearts & Wallets, LLC. The findings are exclusive to Lincoln, and are based on a licensed dataset from Hearts & Wallets’ 2010 Investor Quantitative Panel, an online survey of 4,041 respondents representing a cross-section of U.S. households. The survey was concluded in April 2011. The Lincoln study analyzes a subset of 1,179 retirees, with a special focus on 11% of these respondents who have achieved a baseline savings level of at least 10 times their annual income and define themselves as "successful" retirees. To learn more about the Lincoln Financial Life Stages Retirement Power Study, www.myconfidentfuture.com/retirementpower.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $162 billion as of March 31, 2011. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life, disability and dental insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit www.LincolnFinancial.com.