Even millionaires live paycheck to paycheck

Millions of millionaires
Millions of millionaires   

It seems the rich are like the rest of us after all.

One in five respondents with investable assets of $100,000 to $1 million, and 1 in 10 with investable assets of $1 million up to $10 million believe they have too much debt and are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a poll taken by MaritzCX.

Among the 1,044 investors surveyed in November and December, 45% are worried they won't have enough income to last through retirement. And 30% believe they will have to work during that period of their lives.

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"What this is saying to me is even when you start looking at people who have managed to accumulate some wealth, they are also concerned about their future and about retirement,'' says Rich Brose, senior director strategic consulting for financial services at MaritzCX, which provides customer experience software and research services to help companies improve sales and customer retention. "They share a lot of the same concerns as ... the middle class and even people who might be struggling a little bit more.''

Many seem to still be shaken by the deep recession of 2008 and its aftermath, despite the gradual uptick currently occurring n the economy.

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"Since 2008, I have encountered more people worrying about retirement,'' says Artie Green, a certified financial planner based in Palo Alto, Calf. "Not so much whether or not they'll have enough to live on but really whether or not they'll be able to enjoy the kind of lifestyle they'd been planning. I think one of the key reasons is the vulnerability experienced by many in their 50s who lost jobs and subsequently discovered how difficult it has been to get new ones.''

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The survey also revealed that even the well-off have gaps in their financial knowledge. Nearly one in four do not realize they should wait for a market correction rather than hastily selling during a market dip. And half don't realize they should aim to live off income generated by their retirement assets, rather than dipping steadily into their principal.

"People probably know ... the difference between mutual funds and individual stocks, and (that) it's wise to stay in your 401(k),'' Brose says. "But there are areas, almost blind spots, where they're either not aware or have a misconception. ... There's still room for fundamental education, even among the folks that are investing and have the wherewithal to invest.''

There was a bright note. Insecurity about the future seemed to fade when investors had an up-to date-investment plan. While 41% of investors said they weren't sure they'd have enough money when they retired to live in comfort, the number who were uncertain dropped to 26% when they had an up-to-date financial blueprint.

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"People need to face the reality of where they are now and where they want to be in retirement,'' says Jan Valecka, a certified financial planner based in Dallas. "By having a well-thought-out and realistic financial plan, they have all the facts before them. Will things change in their journey to retirement? Yes. But they can always adjust their plan.''