Survey Finds Most Older Veterans Doing Well Financially Despite COVID Downturn

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Eggs in a nest labeled with retirement savings plans indicating a nest egg of savings

Despite hits to the savings of many older veterans thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, most are still confident in their income and investments lasting them through retirement, according to a recent survey by the investment firm of Charles Schwab.

Rather than save cash to pass on to their children, the survey also revealed that veterans in the baby boomer generation plan on spending the savings on themselves.

The survey of about 400 veterans ages 55 to 75 with at least $100,000 in investable assets, including their savings for retirement, was conducted from Aug. 20 to Sept. 4, 2020.

The survey also found:

  • More than half of the respondents are worried about future market volatility impacting their retirement plans (54%).
  • On average, 86% of boomer veterans believe their income and savings will be enough to last for the remainder of their lives.
  • On average, those that responded to the survey had $980,000 in retirement savings.. While this seems like a lot, respondents also believed they need $130,000 per year to live their "best life" in retirement.
  • Even though nearly 1 out of 5 (18%) survey respondents say they or their spouse were financially impacted by COVID-19 only 4% said they actually withdrew more money than normal from their retirement accounts due to COVID-19.
  • Among those surveyed, 87% anticipate their quality of life in retirement will be better than that of their parents and 84% believe it will be better than that of their children. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (63%) said they would rather spend their money in retirement than leave an inheritance for their children.
  • Even though more than one third of survey respondents (36%) suffered large drops in the value of their investments during the COVID situation, 25% have recovered from those losses by holding on to their investments rather than panic selling.

"Military service members are trained to be confident and disciplined, and for those in our survey, it seems that carries over into their finances," Danielle Munoz, vice president and leader of Charles Schwab's virtual branch network said in a statement.

The survey also found that one third of those surveyed began their retirement savings in their 20s, one third began in their 30s while the rest started saving later in life.

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