'Financial Freedom' More Appealing Than 'Retirement': Survey

What You Need to Know

  • Survey participants associate their current physical, mental and financial health with well-being.
  • Respondents struggle to find a holistic view of their finances: 61% say they need to consult many resources.
  • Financial freedom appeals to 76% of participants, but only 56% think it is achievable.

A big majority of respondents in a poll released Monday by Franklin Templeton said retirement now looks different for everyone and there is no single path to retirement today. 

Respondents were more likely to find the concept of financial freedom appealing than the concept of retirement, but less likely to consider that goal achievable.

Most expect their financial future to be different from that of their grandparents, parents and children.

The Harris Poll conducted the study on behalf of Franklin Templeton in October among 1,007 employed U.S. adults, all of whom had some form of retirement savings. 

Changing Retirement Landscape 

Eighty percent of respondents agreed that the traditional idea of retirement is no longer accurate for most people’s expectations or experiences. At the same time, three-quarters said their future financial goals and plans look different today than they did five years ago.

Seventy-six percent of participants said achieving financial freedom is appealing, but only 56% thought it is achievable. At the same time, 69% said there is appeal in retirement, while 61% said it is likely achievable — a notably smaller gap.

Three-quarters of workers identified their most important financial milestones today as financial freedom and financial independence, also indicating that financial independence feels more empowering than retirement. Many more women in the survey than men said they find financial independence particularly appealing.

A More Holistic View 

Survey participants associate their current physical, mental and financial health with well-being. More than half said their financial well-being is not mainly about money but includes their health and lifestyle. 

But although many workers today place nearly equal importance on mental, physical and financial health, they feel least in control of their financial health. 

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