Schwab Study Reveals Sudden Shift in Retirement Expectations

People More Willing to Make Changes Now Than to Spend Less in Retirement

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 5:01 am PST



Public Company Information:

"Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Americans are becoming more realistic about retirement, with nearly half of those currently eligible for Social Security now planning to work in their “golden years.” But there is one thing all generations refuse to change: 95 percent say they would not be willing to spend less in retirement. Those are the findings of the fourth Real Life Retirement quarterly pulse survey conducted Oct. 28-Nov. 2, 2009 by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

“Americans are willing to save more and work later, in the hope of maintaining their spending and lifestyle in retirement,” said Stacy Hammond, director of Real Life Retirement Services, Charles Schwab.

To better understand how Americans of all ages are responding to the economic upheaval, Schwab’s survey measured the attitudes of the Silent Generation, Older Boomers, Younger Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y.1 Here are a few trends among the survey highlights:

  • Taking Charge: More than half of all investors (52 percent) are getting more involved in retirement planning. Self-reliance increased after hearing about experiences of a friend or loved one going through a personal financial crisis.
  • More Time, More Money: Younger investors are saving more money now, taking advantage of their longer time horizon. Approximately half of Gen Y (48 percent) and Gen X (53 percent) have increased their retirement contributions.
  • Postponing Retirement: Among Older Boomers and Gen Y, 40 percent of both groups plan to postpone their retirement date. Compared to the previous survey, postponement declined among older generations (previously 61 percent) but rose for Gen Y (previously 28 percent).
  • Working During Retirement: Nearly half (47 percent) of workers aged 65 and older are prepared to work during retirement. That compares to 10 and 11 percent among Gen X and Gen Y, respectively, and 20 percent of Baby Boomers.

“Investors should know that, despite the financial setbacks of the past year, there are still ways to retire on your own terms, and the right guidance can make all the difference along the road to and through retirement.”

For More Information

Charles Schwab encourages individuals to take advantage of Schwab’s Real Life Retirement Services, which provides a realistic approach to retirement, not only offering key insight into actionable ways to save for and manage retirement savings, but also providing guidance on products and services and access to stories from Americans who have successfully moved into life’s third act. For more information please visit,

About the Q4 Real Life Retirement Study

The Charles Schwab Q4 Retirement Omnibus Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Oct. 28 and Nov. 2, 2009, using Random Digit Dialing of listed and unlisted numbers. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About the Rethinking Retirement Study

This cross-generational study was initiated by Charles Schwab in collaboration with Age Wave. All data collection and analysis was conducted online in the United States by Harris Interactive®. All interviews were conducted online from March 28 to April 22, 2008. A total of 3,866 were conducted among 21-83 year olds. The sample is representative by age, gender, race, income, investable assets, education and region for each of the four generations studied. An oversample was conducted by generation among the major non-White ethnic groups (Hispanics, African Americans and Asians) to ensure adequate representation by ethnicity across all generations. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 687,000 banking accounts, and $1.3 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Named "Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services" by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009, its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at (1109-11918)

1 The Silent Generation (born before 1945); Older Boomers (born between 1945 and 1954); Younger Boomers (born between 1955 and 1964); Generation X (born between 1965 and 1974) and Generation Y (born after 1975).


Charles Schwab
Matt Hurwitz, 415-667-0480
Pablo Rodriguez, 415-486-3267

Corporate Public Relations
Contacts for Journalists Only




Business Wire NewsHQ℠