Franklin Templeton’s study “Voice of the American Worker” shows a changed concept of retirement

SAN MATEO, California – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Retirement now “feels less than it used to”, according to 82% of respondents in Franklin Templeton’s Voice of the American Worker Survey. The vast majority of respondents say that retirement is different for everyone today (88%) and that there is no single route to retirement today (82%). A majority envision a different financial future than that of their grandparents (65%), parents (56%) and children (56%).

The first survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Franklin Templeton is related to Franklin Templeton’s Retirement Innovation Initiative (RII), which was launched in January 2020 with the aim of improving retirement in the United States

“We believe that every US worker and household has the right to experience financial well-being at every stage of life,” said Yaqub Ahmed, Head of Retirement, Insurance & 529 – US at Franklin Templeton. “New dynamics represent an opportunity for breakthrough innovation and require imagination, creativity and collaboration to find solutions. Our mission with RII is to bring together industry experts to improve the future of retirement in the United States and lead Franklin Templeton’s retirement strategy and product efforts in the context of our shared vision for success. ”

A more holistic view – financial health is now part of general health

The vast majority of respondents associate their current physical (74%), mental (70%) and financial (66%) health with well-being. More than half say that their financial well-being is not primarily related to money, but to their health and lifestyle (57%).

Interestingly, while workers today attach almost the same importance to mental (81%), physical (80%) and financial (76%) health, they feel, interestingly, that their financial (55%) health is the least under control, compared to physical (62%) and mental (58%) health.

Many respondents have difficulty finding a holistic view. 61% say they need to consult many sources to get an overall picture of their finances, and 51% say it is too complicated to put all of their financial information and goals into a single picture. 70 percent want a “Fitbit-like program for their finances” so that everything can be easily tracked in one place.

The Future of Benefits – Closing the Financial Health Gap and Building Benefits for the Modern Workforce

Three in four workers would like their workplace to have more resources to improve their overall financial wellbeing (75%) because they believe their employer is incentivized to encourage good financial habits (79%) and good health habits (78%) should offer. . In fact, workers are more interested in long-term support than today’s monetary gains, with most preferring an elevated 401 (k) match over a raise.

Nine in ten respondents are also looking for tools to visualize their future and optimize their wellbeing, with planning tools and resources (89%) being the most chosen. Tools that help achieve financial independence (35%) and visualize long-term and short-term financial goals side by side (35%) are high on their wish-lists.

As financial futures become more fluid, personalization is non-negotiable. Almost three quarters (73%) of workers expect their financial management apps and programs to use what they know about them to suggest the most appropriate resources, while 62% say, “If I don’t get personalized recommendations, I have feel that financial literacy ts very helpful ”(68% men vs. 54% women).

Americans seek a holistic and consolidated view of their finances in order to achieve overall financial health:

  • Seventy-three percent say they would like there to be a resource that unites the financial view of their entire household.

  • 73 percent say that they would like more opportunities to get an overview of their general well-being.

  • 62 percent state that they would like a “wellbeing coach” who helps in all areas of wellbeing, not just physically or financially.

The changing age landscape – financial freedom has top priority

Eighty percent of respondents agree that the traditional notion of retirement no longer matches most people’s expectations or experiences, while three-quarters (75%) say their future financial goals and plans are different today than they were five years ago.

Respondents also agree that having financial freedom is more important than retiring, but that financial freedom is not always that achievable. More specifically, 76% of respondents say that achieving financial freedom is attractive, while only 56% think it is likely to be achievable. At the same time, 69% say retirement is attractive, while 61% say it is likely to be achievable – a significantly smaller gap.

Workers named their top financial milestones today as financial freedom (76%) and financial independence (74%). Women find financial independence particularly attractive (81 percent vs. 68 percent men).

“The American worker is looking for employers to improve their long-term financial health and optimize their general wellbeing,” added Ahmed. “Technology will play an essential role for employers and employees in meeting these needs. New innovations will enable individuals to reap the benefits and educate themselves so that they can gain financial independence. ”


This study was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Franklin Templeton October 16-28, 2020 among 1,007 employed adults in the United States. All of the respondents had some form of old-age provision. The data are weighted, if necessary, to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore an estimate of the theoretical sample error cannot be calculated.

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management company with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton, serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better results through investment management expertise, asset management and technology solutions. Through its specialized investment managers, the company brings extensive skills in equities, bonds, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has more than 70 years of investment experience and has approximately $ 1.5 trillion in assets as of May 31, 2021. For more information, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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