How participants view retirement vs. retirement planning

For most people, retirement is the opportunity to focus on the things that matter and according to a recent study via Voya’s Online Community, how participants visualize retirement vs. retirement planning differs significantly.

The study – surveying consumers ages 18-70 – found that when it comes to visualizing retirement, consumers see it as their opportunity to pursue their ideal lifestyle, conveyed by images of passports, blue waters, sandy beaches and family. However, they visualize retirement planning with much more literal images – images of careful analysis and number crunching as well as the hard work and anguish that go into planning.

how participants view retirement

Ways to better position the importance of planning

Rephrase the term. It might seem like a small change, but simply rephrasing and repositioning the terms from “retirement planning” to something more inspirational can significantly shift perception.

How Voya is taking action: Last year, Voya conducted focus groups to test the positioning of a new engagement campaign. The theme of “Do something good for yourself” generated an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, as it helped participants view planning for retirement as something they deserved and earned. One focus group member said, “I think sometimes we forget to be good to ourselves. Retirement planning is no exception.”

how participants view retirement

Continuously motivate. Seeing progress and making retirement feel possible are strong motivators to help your employees stay focused on planning. Visualizing their post-retirement plans through pictures or written goals is a great example. In a recent survey, one participant explained, “Going strong is the name. It means recognizing the reasons why I am planning for retirement, and when I look at these pictures, I know why I am planning and it keeps me motivated.”

This is the type of theme that could cross-over to health and wellness campaigns, as well.

About Voya’s Online Community

To better understand consumer attitudes, motivations and behaviors towards financial planning and retirement, Voya works with an independent market research firm LRWTonic to host private, unbiased forums on the Financial Horizons Community..

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Source: Voya Financial Horizons Online Community, Retirement Visualization Study, December 2016