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WINDSOR, Conn., July 12, 2010—Much like the fable “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” pre-retirees fall into two categories: those that have diligently prepared and saved for retirement (the ant) and those who have not (the grasshopper). A new LIMRA study finds that less than half of pre-retirees (aged 55-70) have adequately saved for retirement and, like the grasshopper, are likely to suffer the consequences in retirement—the “winter” of their lives.

According to the new LIMRA research report, Scaling the Pre-Retiree Market, the majority of the 30 million pre-retirees are woefully unprepared for retirement—so much so that it might change the essence of retirement. Consider the following:

Yet, unlike the unprepared grasshopper, there is an opportunity for pre-retirees to improve their position in retirement through “catch-up” contributions and comprehensive financial planning. LIMRA studies find that 6 in 10 pre-retirees have household incomes that exceed $50,000, with a median net worth of almost $250,000. Financial services companies should take note that this population controls $16 trillion in net worth, which will grow over the next 15 years.

Pre-retirees face many significant risks that could put their retirement plans in jeopardy. Addressing the risks of longevity, health care costs, debt, investment fluctuation, disability and changes in marital status or employment are critical for developing a realistic retirement plan. Unfortunately, pre-retirees lack the education or know-how to tackle these issues on their own.

For example, LIMRA found that pre-retirees are more experienced with and therefore more accepting of accumulation-oriented products, like CDs, mutual funds and treasury bonds. For many pre-retirees, these products alone won’t address the risks they will face in retirement.

The need is great. Financial advisors and the companies they represent have an opportunity to prevent a whole generation from undergoing the pain and suffering of the grasshopper.


LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at

Media Contacts

Catherine Theroux

Director, Public Relations

Work Phone: (860) 285-7787

Mobile Phone: (703) 447-3257

Brooke Lacey

Senior Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: (860) 298-3920

Mobile Phone: (413) 530-6184

Bailey Reed

Public Relations/Social Media Specialist

Work Phone: (770) 984-3788

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