financial freedom

Retirement Confidence Dips in 2017

Demand for Unbiased Human Advice and Digital Tools as Americans Work to Get on Track

MCLEAN, Va., March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Americans continue to lack confidence, experience and trust when it comes to retirement planning and investing, according to Capital One Investing’s latest Financial Freedom Survey.

The survey measured current sentiment and behaviors related to investing and retirement, and tracked America’s progress on the path to financial independence.

The annual survey found less than two thirds (62 percent) of Americans feel confident they’re saving enough to retire comfortably – down from 64 percent a year ago and 72 percent in 2015 – and even fewer (49 percent) have established a long-term financial plan. Meanwhile, investors are seeking digital tools like financial aggregators and robo-advisors to help plan for the long-term, and unbiased human advice to help in times of market volatility and uncertainty.

“Today’s investors need a combination of great digital tools and unbiased advice to navigate the markets and get on a path to action and confidence,” said Yvette Butler, president of Capital One Investing. “We’re committed to enabling smart investing habits by delivering straightforward, accessible tools and experiences that leverage the best of technology and human advice.”

Following are key themes uncovered by the 2017 Financial Freedom Survey. Additional data and insights, including historical comparisons, can be found here.

Limited knowledge and experience, and lack of trust and transparency, continue to hold many Americans back.

  • The top factors impacting Americans’ confidence in investing are: lack of knowledge and experience (51 percent), distrust of the markets and financial industry (49 percent), lack of pricing transparency (45 percent) and investing complexity (42 percent).

Many Americans want to boost their retirement nest egg, but aren’t taking action.

  • About two-thirds (65 percent) of non-retired Americans say they’re putting away some portion of their income for retirement, yet only half of Americans (49 percent) report having a long-term financial plan.
  • Meanwhile, 39 percent of non-retired Americans believe they should contribute 15 percent or more of their income to retirement, yet only 13 percent are doing so, and a third (32 percent) aren’t saving at all.

For investors, digital tools are useful, but human advice is critical in times of uncertainty.

  • Among Americans who are investing,1 83 percent see value in information aggregators, as well as retirement calculators (73 percent), technology to connect with advisors (71 percent), digital-human “hybrid” solutions (69 percent) and robo-advisors (56 percent).
  • But when markets are volatile, most (74 percent) investors would prefer engaging a financial advisor, with millennials the least likely to seek human advice during turbulent markets (69 percent) compared to Generation X (75 percent) and Baby Boomers (74 percent).

The “American dream” looks different to everyone, but for many, achieving financial freedom is a critical component.

  • More than a quarter (28 percent) of Americans say their American dream is feeling financially secure, while the same percentage say it is living debt-free.
  • Only nine percent of millennials aim to have a better financial position compared to their parents; rather, they are more likely to say it relates to living debt-free, feeling financially secure or working because they want to, not because they have to.

For more details on the survey, click here. Follow along on Facebook at Capital One Investing and on Twitter at @COFInvesting. Use hashtag #FFSurvey to follow the conversation.




Survey Methodology
This report presents the findings of a study fielded January 12-15, 2017 using ORC International’s Telephone CARAVAN® Omnibus Survey. The study was conducted using two probability samples: randomly selected landline telephone numbers and randomly selected mobile (cell) telephone numbers. The combined sample consists of 1,003 adults (18 years old and older) living in the continental United States. Of the 1,003 interviews, 503 were from the landline sample and 500 from the cell phone sample. The margin of error for the sample of 1,003 is +/- 3.09% at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger error margins.
About Capital One Investing
Capital One Investing is a full-service brokerage offering a range of investment services including fully self-directed digital accounts and advised accounts. At Capital One Investing, our goal is to provide a transparent, accessible, straightforward investing experience through both self-directed and advised accounts and educating and empowering individual investors to help them get on the path to financial freedom.
Securities are offered by Capital One Investing, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are provided by Capital One Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor. Insurance products are offered through Capital One Agency LLC. All are subsidiaries of Capital One Financial Corporation.
1The 2017 Financial Freedom Survey found half (54 percent) of Americans are investors, with one-fifth (21 percent) only investing through a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan or IRA. One-fifth (19 percent) invest in an employee-sponsored plan and in other investments, while 14 percent invest independent of an employee-sponsored plan.