From SunAmerica Asset Management Corp.

Americans Re-Set Retirement Expectations - SunAmerica Study Reports on Resilience of Americans as They Focus on a New Approach to Post-Recession Retirement

Americans have emerged from the economic recession with a new set of expectations around the purpose, timing and funding for retirement, according to a new study sponsored by SunAmerica Financial Group in collaboration with Harris Interactive and Age Wave. The SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study is a national opinion survey of Americans 55 and older that reports on the emotional mindset, attitudes and expectations of pre-retirees and retirees nationwide post-recession.

The study found a significant shift in attitudes and actions since 2001, when SunAmerica conducted its initial landmark retirement study with Harris Interactive and Age Wave. Key findings about today’s pre-retirees and retirees include:

  • A new outlook: Today, 54% view retirement as a new chapter in life, rather than a winding down—a significant increase over the 38% that held a similar view a decade ago.
  • Retirement is being postponed: Pre-retirees say they now intend to delay retirement by five years—from 64 to 69—triggered in part by the recession and financial need.
  • Retirement no longer means the end of work: Almost two-thirds say they would ideally like to remain productive and include some work in retirement to stay active and involved.
  • Financial peace of mind is now six times more important than accumulating wealth: 82% name it their key financial goal.
  • Unexpected multi-generational family assistance has become the new retirement wild card: Pre-retirees must balance their retirement plans with the possibility of having to support aging relatives, adult children, grandchildren and siblings. Half of respondents expect to provide this support, with 70% of those believing their adult children will need financial assistance.
The SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set is a public opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive with telephone interviews in the second quarter of this year with a national sample of 1,001 adults age 55 and older who were representative of the general population by income, ethnicity, geography and gender. The sampling error is +/-3.1%. For more information, please visit

The study shows that Americans are emerging with a more thoughtful and realistic financial outlook. Retirement is changing. While it may be more unpredictable and more challenging, it is also likely to be more interesting, creative and productive as Americans chart a new course for a successful and fulfilling retirement. Additional information regarding the study findings and implications, including specific survey questions and responses, can be found at

About SunAmerica Financial Group

SunAmerica Financial Group is one of the largest life insurance and retirement services organizations in the United States. The business traces its origins to 1850 and has been building customer relationships, distribution partnerships and product and market expertise for over 160 years. Through its American General, AGLA, SunAmerica, VALIC, Western National, FSC Securities, Royal Alliance and SagePoint Financial businesses, it offers a diversified portfolio of life insurance, investment and retirement savings products, guaranteed income solutions and financial planning services. SunAmerica Financial Group serves over 18 million customers and its products are sold by over 300,000 financial professionals.

About Age Wave

Age Wave is the nation’s foremost thought leader on population aging and its profound business, social, healthcare, financial, workforce and cultural implications. Under the leadership of Founder/CEO Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave has developed a unique understanding of the body, mind, hopes and demands of new generations of maturing consumers and workers. Since its inception in 1986, the firm has provided breakthrough research, compelling presentations, award-winning communications, education and training systems and results-driven marketing and consulting initiatives to over half the Fortune 500.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through their North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help the firm - and its clients - stay ahead of what's next.

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