Investor concerns always evolve with the changing economic landscape. But recently, the converging factors of rising healthcare costs and increased life expectancy have resulted in the primary worry being the financial consequences of supporting themselves in old age. And, for the first time ever, long-term care issues are more pressing than retirement.
In a recent survey of over 2,000 affluent investors reported in UBS Investor Watch—a quarterly research publication that tracks the trends of current investor sentiment—26% of investors indicated their largest personal concern was affording long-term care. That was more than those who indicated their biggest worry was retirement (14%). And in a sweeping nod to the growing importance of this issue, younger investors, ages 25-49, reported seeing long-term care as more important than their older counterparts, ages 60 and older (33% vs. 18%).
“We’re beginning to see a major shift in what investors see as their most important personal issues,” Mike Ryan, Chief Investment Strategist for Wealth Management Americas and Regional CIO for the U.S., said as he unveiled the new report. “The impact of growing long-term and healthcare costs cannot be disputed,” he concluded.
Other anxieties about the macro environment persisted, including concerns about an increasingly intractable political situation in Washington. Seventy-six percent of investors are highly concerned about the political climate in Washington, surpassing concerns about rising healthcare costs (67% were “extremely / very worried”) and the size of U.S. national debt (66% were “extremely / very worried”).
Mike Ryan commented, “We see today’s investors as adaptive creatures. In this environment, neither euphoric nor despondent, they are more pragmatic and practical. They’ve tempered return expectations, but acknowledge participating in the markets is necessary to grow wealth.”
While there’s no shortage of issues to be concerned about, the report found that overall confidence is higher among investors and significantly higher among those who create and follow a financial plan.
Seventy-three percent of investors who consistently follow a financial plan feel “excellent / very good” about their financial situation and the ability to reach their goals, as opposed to 31% who feel “excellent / very good” and don’t have a plan. Furthermore, advice was shown as central to helping investors feel more confident, with 68% saying “receiving good advice to make smart financial decisions” is “very / extremely important.”
If the trend toward higher healthcare costs and long-term care costs continues, as most would expect, the need for planning for the future will become more important than ever. If you’re an investor who shares these concerns and has the desire to create a plan to move forward with more confidence, connect with Meridian Wealth Management at UBS today.
Cynthia H. Shively
Meridian Wealth Management
UBS Financial Services Inc.
e-mail: [email protected]
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