I love when companies conduct and publicize studies or surveys which do little more than rationalize their existence. Fidelity, a brokerage specializing in retirement, conducted on such a study recently. Here’s what they found:
* 83% of workers feel they’re not saving enough for retirement, up from 78% a year ago.
* Workers are saving at a pace to replace 57% of their earnings (including Social Security) when the company estimates 85% would be a better target.
* Just over half of all workers studies have taken some action in the last six months to improve their “retirement readiness.”
I would hardly expect a survey from a company that earns lots of money from people saving for retirement to say that Americans are saving enough (or too much), and should cut back, and use the money they earn to enjoy life. These companies would never tell you life spans aren’t guaranteed (unless they’re selling life insurance), and that there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use all of the money you save.
It would shock me to see a brokerage where investing for retirement is the main business model to have the slogan: “carpe diem.” This study, on the other hand, comes as no shock at all.
I’m not trying to say I disagree with the study; let’s just leave these surveys to independent organizations so companies can focus their energy on “market research” instead. Companies don’t need to rationalize their existence to the public.
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published May 12, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.