Peer Pressure Helps You Save For Retirement

PEERPeer pressure might start when you’re a kid, but it can continue right into adulthood?and it can even affect your retirement savings. ?

That’s according to a new survey, which found that financial stress, feeling behind peers in savings and salary, or embarrassment over finances motivates almost a third of non-retirees to “make positive financial decisions.” Thirty-seven percent of those taking the survey felt peers were ahead of them either in financial stability, current income, or saving for the future. That feeling was particularly strong among Gen X-ers and millennials, with 48 percent and 43 percent, respectively, feeling that they “lagged behind most people their age.” Thirty-four percent of boomers felt the same way.

“For younger workers, everything’s a constant stream of sharing about what’s going on in their life and peers’ lives,” says Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge, which commissioned the survey. “If they don’t seem to be doing as well as everyone else, they don’t want to share it, and it adds to stress.” The good news, he says, is that this pressure “can lead to them taking some action because they don’t want to fall that far behind peers.”?

The biannual survey, done by Braun Research, asked a nationally representative sample of 1,000 of the ?mass affluent??people aged 18 to 68 with from $50,000 to $250,000 in household investable assets1?about topics such as how they were planning for retirement, what they thought retirement would be like, and whether they’d be embarrassed if close friends or family knew all about such things as their retirement savings, checking account balance, credit score, or discretionary spending. ?

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