Allianz Life Study Reveals Financial Challenges and Opportunities
with the New Reality of Longevity
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While Americans are optimistic about the prospect of living an average
extra years, 70% feel financially unprepared to live to 100 and
beyond, according to The Gift of TimeSM*, a new study from
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®).
The study found that fears surrounding money and a lack of planning are
formidable barriers that keep people from taking risks and following
their dreams. Despite these barriers, Americans have a clear
understanding that preparation, self-discipline and a longevity plan
are the keys to longer, more fulfilling lives.
Millennials and Gen X: Financial Longevity Worries
Millennials and Generation X have time on their side when it comes to
pursuing their dreams, but that gift comes with significant angst. More
than three-quarters (79%) of Gen Xers reported feeling financially
unprepared for living a longer life while 74% of Millennials had the
same concerns. Baby boomers are not immune to worry either – 57%
reported that they feel financially unprepared.
When respondents were asked to finish the sentence, “following your
dreams is all well and good, but you need to have…,” the top two
barriers chosen were “enough money” (57%) and “a good financial plan”
(50%). The biggest regret reported (or potential future regret for
Millennials) was not saving more money (52%) which ranked above not
traveling more (38%) and not spending more time with their kids (32%).
As respondents considered their extra years, 45% said that “uncertainty”
most closely described their feelings about the future. This uncertainty
is echoed by the fact that more than half (51%) identified “having
enough money to last my whole life” as a very big problem when they
thought about living to age 100. In contrast, the study also showed
people’s awareness of solutions that could help.
“The Gift of Time confirms that having a solid financial plan addressing
longevity can remove major barriers for many Americans, allowing them to
take risks that ultimately lead to a more fulfilled life,” said Allianz
Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “Having a better
understanding of longevity also gives people the chance to think of
retirement in a new way. Americans have the time to create a strategy
that considers nontraditional opportunities such as an encore career or
taking a gap year after school.”
Breaking Barriers with Change and Support
Building the right financial foundation can help alleviate challenges
holding people back. According to the study, more than half (51%)
of respondents believed they would need to better plan their spending
and saving, or live more modestly to fund all the things they want to do
in life. More than a third (37%) even acknowledged that they may need to
work longer/retire later to meet their financial needs. To make the most
of their 30 extra years, respondents found it important to change the
amount of money they save, how they fund their entire life (including
short-term goals), and the level of discipline they need to follow a
In addition to the solutions people identified when planning for
longevity, the study found that having a financial professional could
add support and reassurance. Respondents who had a financial
professional reported being happier (79%) with their major life choices
(such as their profession and when/where they worked or didn’t, etc.)
compared to 64% of those who were happy with their major life decisions
but did not have a financial professional. Despite that fact, the
majority (72%) of respondents reported not having a financial
professional. But these respondents would be more willing to seek one if
the financial professional helped them find solutions that could create
guaranteed income for life (47%), helped plan for and fund a longer life
(34%), and helped with finances throughout life stages (31%).
“No matter the age, getting help to establish the right longevity plan
can build a foundation that meets both long- and short-term goals. This
gives people the chance to do things they’ve always wanted to do, like
be a stay-at-home parent or pursue a different career,” said Libbe.
Being Open to a New Life Order
Americans also support living life in a new, nontraditional order –
especially if the barriers holding them back are addressed. When asked
what got in the way of following a different approach for when and how
they made major life decisions, “worries about money” was the top choice
for 46%, “life events” got in the way for 33%, and 22% cited “lack of a
clear plan for how to go about it” or “fear of failure” getting in their
way. With the right longevity plan, people who avoid making alternative
choices because of money could reconsider their future, as many
respondents recommended doing. Sixty-five percent admitted that it was
better to explore, experiment and travel earlier in life by changing
when and how they learned, worked, married or raised kids.
The Gift of Time found that instead of taking a traditional path (going
to school, working, getting married, having kids and retiring), almost
half (49%) of respondents were open to a nontraditional model that was
unique to their interests.
“Having 30 extra years opens the door to taking a nontraditional life
path. Now, more than any other time in history, people can create a
strategy that gives them the chance to live their adult lives on their
own terms – not according to traditional or societal standards,”
More from The Gift of Time Study
For more information about the study and to see examples of people
embracing longevity and choosing their own nontraditional life path,
In the coming months, Allianz Life will release additional data from The
Gift of Time Study.
About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North
Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For in 2016, has been keeping its promises since 1896.
Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their
retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and
life insurance products. In 2015, Allianz Life provided a total of $2.4
billion in benefit payments that supported policyholders’ financial
objectives. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life
is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services
industry with 142,000 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide.
More than 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz
knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to help them make the most
of financial opportunities.
*The Allianz Life The Gift of Life Study was conducted by Larson
Research + Strategy via online survey in March, 2016 with 3,000 U.S.
adults ages 20-70 with a minimum household income of $30K+ and was
commissioned by Allianz Life.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America