CARP Action readers battered but not beaten by recent market turmoil!

We were pleased that 568 of you completed our recent survey on how secure and confident you feel about your retirement income. Nearly 96% of those who responded were over 55 and nearly 79% were retired so the questions were very relevant. Many of you are clearly worried about being able to live comfortably in retirement, and that spurs us to more advocacy on your behalf. And of the 42% who rely on a financial advisor, while 68% lost money on their advice, you also are still following it and hanging on! Nearly one in five of you thought the advice you got lost you a lot of money. This should be a wake-up call for these people who too often take your loyalty for granted. Good news is that if you rely on pensions most of you feel secure. And most of you believe government investments can help helping the economic situation. We have to make sure they do provide wide ranging stimulus.

The majority of respondents are fully retired (79%), a few are retiring soon (15%) and very few are still working (6%).

Two thirds say they are at least “confident” (69%) they will have enough funds to support themselves comfortably through retirement, but just one fifth says “very confident” (18%).

Most respondents say their investments are handled by an advisor (42%), followed by equal proportions who say either they manage their investments themselves (29%) or that they have no investments to manage (29%), relying solely on pensions.

Two thirds of respondents say their experience with a financial advisor was neutral, in that they lost some money recently, but followed advice to hang on (68%). One quarter had a very negative experience and lost a lot of money (24%) while a fortunate few say their advisor saw trouble coming and saved them money (8%).

The pattern with self-managers is the same – the majority lost some money but are fairly content (66%), one fifth lost a lot of money (22%) and a fortunate few anticipated the crisis and sheltered their investments (12%).

Those who rely on pensions believe them to be secure, with one quarter saying they are “very secure” (24%) and one half saying “quite secure” (54%).

Three quarters of respondents think government stimulus can help the economy, with one fifth saying it can help “a great deal” (21%) and more than half saying it can help “somewhat” (57%). Very few think it can’t help at all (4%).

Survey results are based on a self-selected sample of 566 members of CARP who received the organization’s online newsletter. Results can be said to be accurate within 4.5%, either up or down, at the 95% confidence level. That is, if all recipients of CARP Action Online who responded to surveys were asked these questions, their answers would be within 4.5% of those shown here, 19 out of 20 times asking the identical question.