Retirement Reimagined

The concept of retirement has changed over the decades—as have the ways of funding it. Franklin Templeton’s “Voice of the American Worker” survey breaks down how the various generations think about retirement, and it’s clear retirement means different things to different people. Our Yaqub Ahmed shares findings from the survey and thoughts on achieving financial wellbeing.

What’s your vision of retirement? Sitting on a beach with a good book? Learning a new language? Spending more time with the grandkids? There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to retirement, and Franklin Templeton’s “Voice of the American Worker” survey confirms that retirement today feels “less cookie cutter than it used to be,” according to 82% of those polled.1

The vast majority of respondents (88%) indicated that retirement now looks different for everyone, and there is no single path to retirement. Views on retirement differ by generation, with a majority of those surveyed envisioning that their financial future will be different from their grandparents, parents and children.

Our inaugural survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Franklin Templeton, is connected to Franklin Templeton’s Retirement Innovation Initiative (RII), which launched in January 2020. RII’s mission is to bring together industry experts who share the same vision—improving the future of retirement in the United States. With this in mind, “Voice of the American Worker” was fielded to help validate what has been widely suspected—that participants are seeking more personalized solutions to meet their unique goals. Of course, having adequate financial resources is critical, and funding one’s retirement has evolved from prior generations where employer-funded defined benefit plans on top of Social Security benefits had assured many people a comfortable post-work life.