- Only one in ten Americans have ‘optimal’ characteristics for good savings
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management identified four behaviors associated with good retirement nest eggs
- These include: high optimism, financial literacy, future orientation and reward-focused mentalities
Just one in ten Americans has the ‘optimal’ characteristics to build a good retirement nest egg, a new study has shown.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management surveyed 5,261 US workers and retirees to find the financial behaviors most likely to set people up for comfort in their twilight years.
Researchers identified four key traits in those with the best savings which include: high optimism, future orientation, financial literacy and reward orientation.
Its findings showed those with such behaviors had a higher level of savings, would review their savings periodically and avoided retirement cash outs among other qualities.
Yet only one in ten respondents had all four traits and 5 percent had ‘suboptimal’ characteristics meaning they had low optimism, future orientation, financial literacy and were risk orientated.
Researchers identified four key traits in those with the best savings which include: high optimism, future orientation, financial literacy and reward orientation
Some 85 percent were therefore found to have a blend of optimal and suboptimal behaviors.
Here DailyMail.com explains what each trait means and how adopting them can boost your retirement income.
A high level of optimism lends itself to favorable retirement outcomes because individuals had a strong belief they would hit their savings goals, the report said.
Workers with this characteristic are also more likely to have started personalized financial plans, review their savings more regularly – at least annually – and take healthy risks.
Some 61 percent of survey respondents deemed to have high optimism had higher retirement balances.
Chris Ceder, senior retirement strategist with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told CNBC: ‘When you have that level of optimism, you’re comfortable taking the steps in order to achieve the goals that you have in the future.’
Researchers noted that optimistic individuals tend to be younger, have partners, more household assets and a higher level of education.
The amount individuals were connected to their future selves also had a strong correlation with good savings.
This trait – which researchers labelled ‘future orientation’ (FO) – helps individuals to stave off rewards in the present and focus on achieving results with long-term benefits.|
By contrast those with low FO were more likely to cash out their retirement plans upon job changes or make emergency withdrawals from their savings.
Some 66 percent of those with high FO were classified as ‘savers’ in the analysis while only 8 percent of those without it were.
A typical person with high FO was found to be male, have a partner, more household assets and higher levels of education.
Unsurprisingly having strong financial know-how such as how compound interest and diversification works also helps to boost workers’ savings pots, the report said.
High financial literacy (FL) was associated with older individuals, often with partners, better education and higher household assets.
‘Financial literacy is something that kind of grows over time,’ Ceder said.
Some 48 percent of those with high financial literacy had retirement savings above $200,000, the research found.
Chris Ceder, senior retirement strategist with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told CNBC high levels of optimism meant workers were more likely to take proactive steps towards planning their future
Risk Vs Reward
Survey respondents were also divided up into ‘risk vs reward’ focused individuals.
Those who were reward orientated had a focus on achievement while those focused on risks were found to pursue goals with a focus on security and protection.
Workers and retirees in the former camp had more proactive financial behaviors, the report found, from which they often reaped rewards from.
And while having a focus on security and protection may be deemed a good attribute by many, the report found individuals with this mindset were less proactive when it came to their finances.
A reward-focused mentality was associated more commonly with those who had partners and larger household assets.