What You Need to Know
- Data from a new Goldman Sachs survey suggests a great number of Americans are feeling sandwiched by competing financial priorities.
- At the same time, individuals at all stages of life say they are more open to working with financial professionals to help create more financial resilience.
- Proper planning requires humility and an acknowledgement of the unknown, Duran says.
In the experience of Joe Duran, head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, the value of a solid financial plan is hard to overstate, especially during difficult times in the markets.
Those with a plan, Duran says, are far less likely to make rash and emotional decisions with their portfolios and are generally more successful in achieving financial wellness and independence over the long term, even when they have to face life’s biggest challenges.
Duran offered his perspective during a media call convened to preview the firm’s newly released 2022 Goldman Sachs Asset Management Retirement Survey Insight Report, which focuses on the struggles facing U.S. workers as they strive to prepare for retirement in a world increasingly devoid of traditional pensions.
The survey shows U.S. workers are fretting higher market volatility, the prospect of lower returns in both bonds and stocks, and the impact of prolonged high inflation. At the same time, individuals at all stages of life say they are more open to working with financial professionals to help create more financial resilience.
Data from the survey suggests a great number of Americans are feeling “sandwiched” by competing financial priorities, especially older millennials and members of Gen X. Many people in these generations are raising kids while also caring for aging parents, putting both time and monetary strains on even those of substantial means.
“It’s a challenging financial vortex for individuals to navigate,” Duran says.
A ‘Precarious Moment’
Top concerns highlighted in the survey data pertain to the solvency of Social Security, rapid inflation in health care costs and uncertainty about what greater longevity means from a financial perspective. Concerns across these and other areas have all jumped meaningfully since the 2021 edition of the survey, Duran notes, showing just how difficult the last year has been for many people.
“The data shows us we are clearly in a precarious moment,” Duran says, adding that such an environment elevates the importance of the financial planning. “People across the board want more advice about saving and generating retirement income — and understanding how long their savings might last, especially in the context of high inflation.”
Duran says the growing desire for personalized, tailored advice shines through basically all the findings in the new survey report. According to the survey, essentially all current workers say they could benefit from greater access to advice and support services from planning professionals.
“We know that a sense of financial control and clarity are essential, but these are so difficult to create on your own,” Duran says. “These are the things a financial plan can address. A plan helps individuals understand their current position and generate that higher level of clarity about what may come next.”
Seeking Clarity and Control, Not Perfection
Duran emphasized that no advisor, no matter their skill and dedication, can predict the future. At the same time, no client can make perfect decisions all the time. Fortunately, that’s not what a good financial plan seeks to accomplish.