Filed Under:Life Insurance, Life Planning Strategies

Survey: most consumers could be motivated to save more

Photo credit: Stuart Miles
Photo credit: Stuart Miles

More than half of the respondents in a new consumer survey say they would be motivated to save more for retirement if their nest eggs didn't measure up to those of their peers. 

Published by ING Retirement Research Institute, a unit of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING), the survey reveals that 52 percent of consumers say they would be motivated to save more if their nest eggs didn't measure up to those of their peers. Additionally, better than one-quarter (27 percent) confirm that the size of their retirement account is an important attribute for benchmarking themselves against others—more significant than their material possessions (17 percent) and salary (16 percent).

The study results also show that 19 percent already in retirement still want to "keep up with the Joneses" when it comes to their quality of life and financial independence.

ING State of Savings interactive map, which provides a state-by-state scan and ranking of how Americans say they are saving across the country, applies two different formulas. One formula measures the average amount that residents of each state have collectively saved for retirement as a percent of their total estimated needs, with adjustments made for age. 

This metric is referred to as savings progress. According to the analysis, the following three states ranked the highest in terms of savings progress:

  1. Hawaii – residents have saved 51 percent of their estimated needs for retirement;
  2. New York – residents have saved 49 percent of their estimated needs for retirement;
  3. Nevada – residents have saved 48 percent of their estimated needs for retirement.

A second formula measures the average amount that residents of each state have saved up, as a multiple of their annual household income. This metric is referred to as savings score. According to the analysis, the following three states ranked highest in terms of savings score:

  1. New Mexico – residents have saved 4.56 times their annual income;
  2. Vermont – residents have saved 4.35 times their annual income;
  3. South Carolina – residents have saved 3.78 times their annual income.

Nationally, the average savings progress for Americans overall was at 39 percent, while the savings score was 2.42. 

The ING U.S. consumer survey finds that 34 percent of Americans believe where they live has a significant impact on their ability to save for retirement.

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