Visions Of Aging

Dare to Dream — Consumers Who Envision Their Retirement Save More

When consumers set their sights higher

For National Retirement Security Week, Lincoln Financial Group shares tips and resources to help consumers achieve retirement goals

October 16, 2019 — RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Retirement may sound far away or unachievable to many Americans, but new research from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) shows that consumers who take the time to envision their ideal retirement not only know they need to save more, but are actually saving at a higher rate than those who have no idea what their ideal retirement looks like.

Retirement plan participants who have envisioned their ideal retirement set their sights higher when saving for retirement. The median amount they think they need to save for retirement is 20% of their income (this is 7% higher than those who have not given any thought to their ideal retirement). As a result, those who have a picture of what retirement holds for them are more than twice as likely to contribute 15% or more in their workplace retirement plan compared to those who have not given it any thought.

“Planning for retirement is more than just a number,” said Jamie Ohl, executive vice president, president Retirement Plan Services, Lincoln Financial Group. “When savers take the time to really think through what retirement will hold — like volunteering, traveling the world or even working part time — they are better able to take steps today to make the tomorrow they imagine a reality.”

More than a retirement plan — a plan for retirement

Understanding the ins and outs of a retirement plan are important, but it is just as important for savers to think about what they want to be doing in retirement, as it gives them a goal to work towards and save for directly. In the 2019 Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Study, people were asked to describe their ideal retirement, in their own words.

The most popular themes were traveling (35%) and feeling financially secure or not having to worry about money (30%). Other common themes included:

  • living comfortably / having a simpler life (16%)
  • being debt-free (12%)
  • not having to work and relaxing (11%)
  • relocating or downsizing their home (10%)
  • entertainment / fun activities / hobbies (9%)
  • spending time with family and friends (9%)
  • working part-time (8%)

“We heard directly from participants in our study, who said they wanted to be able ‘to live comfortably, not extravagantly’ and ‘I don’t want to feel like we can’t do fun things because money is tight,’” Ohl said. “This is powerful — and we are doing everything we can to help participants understand not just how much they need to save, but how to save more, so they can achieve those retirement goals.”

Understanding how much to save

Envisioning the ideal retirement is an important step to take while planning for the future, but it’s also important for savers to calculate the costs of their ideal retirement, especially those who are nearing retirement.

Among those who expect to retire within the next 10 years, only about half have calculated the costs of their basic needs in retirement, and even fewer (38%) have calculated what their ideal retirement would cost. Like envisioning retirement, calculating retirement costs correlates with higher deferral rates among participants, and helps consumers get closer to achieving their dreams.

And while the study found that participants who are closer to retirement are more likely to have given a lot of thought to what their ideal retirement might look like, it is vital for consumers to start saving young.

Understanding the ins and outs of a retirement plan are important, but it is just as important for savers to think about what they want to be doing in retirement, as it gives them a goal to work towards and save for directly...

Resources to help

Lincoln Financial offers a number of tools and support for participants, including this Financial Conversation Starter Kit, which helps people have conversations with their loved ones about finances.

Once consumers have put thought into what their ideal retirement looks like, understanding that small changes can have a big impact on savings is important, as this calculator shows. And for those struggling with competing financial priorities, including debt, Lincoln’s debt calculator can help.

“National Retirement Security Week is a great time for participants of all ages to think ahead to what their ideal retirement would look like,” said Ohl, “but it’s just as important for the other 51 weeks of the year. The sooner savers take charge of their retirement savings, the closer they will be to achieving the retirement they envision.”




About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $260 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, Lincoln was recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Large Employers, Best Employers for Diversity, and Best Employers for Women. Lincoln also earned perfect 100 percent scores on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at: Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at
About the Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Study
The 2019 Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Study is based on a national survey of 2,580 full-time workers who have been contributing to their current employer’s retirement plan for at least one year. Data is weighted by demographics to mirror the total population. Lincoln Retirement Power is a platform for research and viewpoints on central issues related to retirement planning. The program seeks to identify forward-thinking ways to help plan sponsors, advisors, intermediaries, and participants. As part of the program, Lincoln sponsors both proprietary and third party research, with an emphasis on what drives better retirement outcomes.