Listening to Middle-Income Americans Part 1: Retirement advice for younger generations

They say, “with age comes wisdom,” and we completely agree. This is why the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement surveyed middle-income retirees on the realities of preparing for and enjoying life in retirement. It’s our hope that their life and retirement advice can help younger generations prepare well for retirement.

In this new three-part report series, we asked 300 retirees ages 55 to 75 a variety of open-ended life and retirement financial advice questions about what they have learned during their retirement and to share their real-world advice for younger generations. In Part 1, Advice for Younger Generations, the collected elders’ advice about life includes topics such as:

  • Should I get a financial advisor?
  • Retirement planning advice
  • Financial advice for retirement planning
  • Retirement asset management
  • And more!

Advice for Younger Generations highlights four questions from the survey and summarizes retirees’ most common responses.

Read Part 2: Health and Happiness and Part 3: Living in Retirement.

Key Findings

In This Report:
Four Q&As from Current Retirees

1. What is the most important piece of advice about life you would give to younger generations?In this life advice from the elderly, retirement financial advice accounted for half (50%) of the recommendations from retirees to younger generations. Save for the future was the top piece of life advice that retirees would pass along to today’s young people, accounting for two-fifths (39%) of all responses.

2. What financial advice would you give younger generations about planning for retirement?The retirement tips for baby boomers shared in this section focused largely on saving. Start saving early is the top piece of financial advice (93%) that current retirees want to pass along to younger generations. Retirees also urge younger Americans to contribute to retirement plans available at work (84%), do more planning (61%), invest conservatively (39%) and seek professional financial services (37%).

3. What retirement topic do you wish you knew more about?This retirement advice again focused on the financial side of things. When asked what retirement topics they wish they knew more about, “making your money last” ranked at the top of the list. One in four (25%) are looking for investment information and for guidance on how to maximize returns on retirement savings. Many wish they knew more about interest rate credit scores.

4. What has been your biggest financial surprise about being retired?The financial advice for retirement planning provided in this section focused on not having enough income in retirement. Those surveyed commented, “Money doesn’t go as far as expected,” and “You don’t realize how much less you are really making.”Check out the complete study for all of the retirement planning advice for younger generations.