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The Pre-Retirees Changing Minds, Changing Needs

Executive Summary

The Pre-Retirees are estimated to number between 75 million and 77 million and hold some $8 trillion in assets. Although there is no bright-line distinction between them and the younger Wealth Accumulators, they tend to look at life differently. The over-50 crowd begins to ask: What have I accomplished? Can I sustain my lifestyle? Do I need to save more than I do today?

The change of mindset that leads Pre-Retirees to ask these questions is far more important than whether they continue to accumulate wealth. As Pre-Retirees think about their lives and the legacy they want to leave, advisors must shift from a sales to a service perspective.

To provide the added-value advice and service they need, financial advisors must look at their Pre-Retiree clients’ lives holistically in
collaboration with risk and insurance advisors.

Who Are the Pre-Retirees?

Pre-Retirees, who correspond to the Baby Boomer generation as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, are Americans born between 1946 and 1964, and thus between ages 51 and 69 in 2015. The largest adult cohort, their numbers are estimated between 74.9 million (Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Greatest Generation, Pew Research April, 2016). and “just under 77 million” (2014 Census Bureau estimate). Some 8.35 million according to the Shullman Research Center’s June 2014 Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse, or 11 percent, of them are high-net-worth individuals with $1 million or more in total assets. Based on this, we can calculate that these individuals collectively hold some $8 trillion in assets, 23 percent of the U.S. adult total.

Plainly, as long as this continues to be the case, and indeed as long as they are transferring their wealth to younger generations, the Pre-Retirees will remain a group advisors need to pursue.


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