|Affluents’ Financial Concerns About Retirement||Working Adults Hit by Recession|
|Businesses Using Social Media Networks for Hiring||Recession Affecting Workers’ Views|
|Employers Seek Ways to Trim Healthcare Costs|
Affluents’ Financial Concerns About Retirement
A slight majority of retired affluent Americans (51%) – those with investable assets of at least $250,000 – say they would have focused more on their life goals and less on amassing a specific dollar amount for their nest egg if they could go through their working years all over again.
Almost one-third (31%) worked with a financial adviser when planning their retirement. Of these, 55% say they wished they had started working with their financial adviser sooner than they did.
Financial Concerns About Retirement, Affluent Retirees vs. Affluent Non-retired, 2009
Working Adults Hit by Recession
The recession – which destroyed 20% of Americans’ wealth – has directly hit more than one-half of America’s working adults, pushing them into unemployment, pay cuts, reduced hours at work or part-time jobs, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Some 35% of working adults age 62 and older say they have postponed retirement. In addition, six in 10 between ages 50 and 61 say they may be forced to do the same. In the meantime, one-half of the survey respondents say they have made smaller payments towards their mortgages, credit card balances, car loans and other borrowing.
Four in 10 adults say they have taken money from their savings and retirement accounts to get by financially. Others have gotten help from friends and family. Almost one-quarter say they have borrowed money from someone. And one in 10 – including 24% of workers from 18 to 29 years old – reveal they moved back in with their parents to ride out the economic storm.
The recession may bring about some new lifestyle changes since nearly one-half of respondents say they plan to save more; nearly a third state they plan to spend less and 30% plan to borrow less.
Employers Seek Ways to Trim Healthcare Costs
Employers are planning various strategies to trim their healthcare costs while simultaneously maintaining a competitive health benefits package.
In the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2010 employee benefits report, 72% of the 534 HR professionals surveyed said that the benefits offerings at their organization have been affected in some way over the past year. In total, the average cost for health care per employee was $7,038 in 2009. Larger organizations spend $8,026 per employee compared with $6,706 and $6,775 for small and midsized organizations.
The Hewitt research shows that total health care costs (including employer cost, employee payroll contributions and employee out-of-pocket expenses) have skyrocketed in a decade, from $4,793 in 2001 to $11,058 in 2010. And, they are expected to continue increasing by 9 percent in 2011, which is 0.5 percent slower than the 2010 growth rate, per a recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP.
The PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey lists these changes that employers intend to make to their benefit plans next year:
- 67% intend to expand or improve wellness programs
- 42% plan to increase employee contributions for health
- 41% expect to increase medical cost-sharing (including higher deductibles and co-pays); and
- 26% intend to increase prescription drug cost-sharing
Businesses Using Social Media Networks for Hiring
A June 2010 survey by Jobvite shows that online job boards and third-party search firms are now in less demand due to companies’ increasing use of social media to search for new employees.
Nearly three-quarters of companies surveyed are now using social networks for recruiting, and 58.1% said they had successfully hired a candidate found through a social network.
LinkedIn was used by almost 80% of companies recruiting through social media. Some 90% of companies who had hired through a social network reported that they found the candidate on LinkedIn. While Facebook and Twitter were used to recruit new hires by 55% and 45% of companies, respectively, they resulted in far fewer hires: 27.5% for Facebook and 14.2% for Twitter.
Recession Affecting Workers’ Views
A slight majority of workers (51%) say they would switch careers if given the opportunity. Generation Xers especially feel this way, with 56% wishing for a different profession. Two in 10 Generation Xers affected by the recession say they are thinking about going back to school.
Some 7% of workers say the recession has positively affected the management team at their workplace, down from 9% in 2009. One in 10 (10%) appreciate their boss more as a result of the recession, down from 16% in 2009.
Today, 39% of workers appreciate their job overall in light of the recession, down from 55% in 2009. This is reflected in the attitude that only 17% are willing to work harder to avoid layoffs (down from 20% in 2009) and only 19% are willing to work longer hours (down from 21%).
Retirement On Hold for Older Workers
The most common reason workers over age 60 are putting off retirement (72%) is because they can’t afford to stop working, according to CareerBuilder. Women (76%) are more likely than men (68%) to postpone retirement for financial reasons.
Other reasons include:
- They enjoy their job and work environment and don’t want to leave (71%)
- They need the health insurance and additional benefits provided by their employers (50%)
- They fear being bored in retirement (24%)
- They enjoy feeling needed at work (15%)
- The average pay for CEOs of the largest 500 companies in the U.S. has jumped 300% over the last decade.
- Air travelers’ top complaints about flights include long security lines (39%), the lack of leg room (25%), baggage fees (25%), high prices for food (19%), and not enough seating in boarding area (14%).
- Some 21% of workers check their smartphones every time the device rings; 18% say their company requires them to be available outside of work hours; and 14% feel obligated to constantly be in touch with work during the recession.