Charles Schwab 401(k) Participant Study

Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Kiplinger’s and Think Advisor recently covered Charles Schwab’s annual “2023 401(k) Participant Study”, conducted with Logica Research. 


Guesswork Regarding Retirement Needs

As noted in Yahoo! Finance, this Schwab 401(k) study found many Americans believe they’ll need $1.8 million for a comfortable retirement, but this is often a just guess. Many lack knowledge on how much to save or invest and this could lead to under-saving and financial problems later, according to the article, “The five biggest things that confuse Americans about retirement.” The piece lists five major retirement confusion points, like how much to save, what to invest in, when to retire, how to create a retirement income stream, and what expenses will be after retirement.


Inflation’s Impact on 401(k) Saving

The article “Retirement savers are anxious about inflation and stock-market volatility” in MarketWatch highlights that Schwab’s 401(k) study showed that more than 60% of workers view inflation as an obstacle to saving for a comfortable retirement, up from 45% the previous year. As cited in Kiplinger’s, “Nearly eight in 10, or 78%, of survey respondents said [inflation and stock market volatility] are affecting their spending and saving habits, and 36% of them plan to delay retirement as a result.”

Stock Market Volatility

Similarly, four in 10 people consider stock-market volatility a challenge to their retirement savings, compared to one-third in the previous year, according to the Kiplinger’s article on the study. Specifically, 42% say stock market volatility is an obstacle, up from 33% last year’s Schwab 401(k) study.

Looking for Guidance

As noted in Think Advisor, “In addition to the desire for basic retirement planning guidance, Schwab finds, workers also want help understanding how new regulatory and legislative changes may affect their retirement goals.” The study revealed that 27% feel very confident making investment decisions for their 401(k) on their own, but this confidence increases to 49% when assisted by professionals. Additionally, 73% desire personalized advice for their retirement plan, but only 39% are already receiving such guidance through their workplace plans.

To find out more information, you can read articles by Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Kiplinger’s and Think Advisor

Background: Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab) commissioned Logica Research to conduct an online survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants who currently contribute to their plan. Participants were between the ages of 21 and 70 who work for companies with more than 25 employees that have 401(k) plans. The study was conducted from April 19 – May 2, 2023. Survey respondents include participants served by approximately 15 different retirement plan providers. For more information, see the 401(k) participant study here. 

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