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The 5 Types of Retirement Savers: Which One Are You?

Listen to Best in Wealth Podcast Episode 167   

Do you know what your personality type is? Do you know what kind of saver you are? Knowing these things can help you learn more about yourself—and determine what you need to do to have a successful retirement. If you are interested in learning more about the 5 personality types—and what it means for you—listen to this episode of Best in Wealth!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:14] The 4 types of personality traits
  • [5:27] #1: The ambitious risk-taker
  • [7:33] #2: The cautious preparer
  • [10:52] #3: The optimistic dreamer
  • [13:14] #4: The purposeful planner
  • [17:35] #5: The uncertain struggler
  • [20:15] What each type should do

The 4 types of personalities

Have you taken a personality test to learn more about yourself? According to an article published on Today.com, there are four main personality types, scored based on personality traits: openness, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, and contentiousness. Understanding where you rank can help you predict your personality type. So what are they?

  • Average: Most people are “average” and score high in neuroticism and extraversion while scoring low in openness. 
  • Reserved: reserved people are introverted and conscientious, neither open nor neurotic.
  • Role models: Role models are natural leaders. They are agreeable, open, extraverted, and conscientious. 
  • Self-centered: Self-centered people score high in extroversion but are below average in all the other categories: openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

To grow, you need to know who you are. I scored the highest on the need for recognition and it is true—I love a pat on the back. Once in a while, at a previous job, my sales manager would say, “Good job, Scott.” Unfortunately, he always followed it up with, “Your personality trait says I should do this.” Where do you land? 

#1 The ambitious risk-taker

According to Barrons, ambitious risk-takers are educated, optimistic, and young.

  • 49% of the people surveyed were under 45
  • 28% were under the age of 35
  • 72% worked full-time
  • 52% have a bachelor's degree
  • Men are 54% of this group
  • 43% have a financial advisor.

They are more likely to be open to new opportunities. 75% expect their income to last throughout retirement. They think they are experts in retirement planning. Is this you? 

#2: The cautious preparer

Are you a cautious preparer?

  • 56% of this group are men 
  • 40% hold a bachelor’s degree
  • 68% are 45 or older (20% are 65-75) 

Many cautious preparers have prepared for the worst and stuck with tried and true investment strategies. They are full of questions, do a ton of research, but rely on the experts. 27% are actually retired (the highest percentage of any type).

#3: The optimistic dreamer

Here are the stats on the optimistic dreamers: 

  • Women make up 57% of this group
  • 49% are under 45 and 26% under 35
  • Only 46% have a high school diploma

To this group, retirement seems to be far away. They expect to lead active and rewarding lives as seniors. They are optimistic—but do not have the assets they need. They have a basic understanding of retirement plans but are not comfortable with it. But they are usually making contributions to their 401k. Few optimistic dreamers know their income needs for retirement. They make financial decisions based on instinct—an awful idea. 

#4: The purposeful planner

Purposeful planner sounds good, right? 

  • Men are 58% of this group
  • 52% have at least a bachelor's degree
  • 42% are 55 or older. 
  • Many are nearing retirement or are already retired

These are well-positioned to enjoy retirement. They devote time to retirement planning. About 50% have extensive knowledge and enjoy managing their finances. 50% hire a financial planner. 78% of this group expects their income to last throughout retirement. They have done projections and know how much they need to save. They average 7 retirement goals or more and have a solid retirement plan. These are the most confident of the bunch. 

#5: The uncertain struggler

The “uncertain struggler” group is generally pessimistic about living comfortably in retirement. Many expect to rely on social security and help from family to get by. 

  • Women make up 61% of this group 
  • Only 56% have a high school diploma
  • 39% work full-time
  • 50% are 45 or older

They rely on instinct and recommendations from family and friends to make financial decisions. They do not know much about retirement planning, do not have a plan, and do not know what their income needs will be in retirement. Only 24% expect their savings and income to last throughout retirement. This is the lowest percentage among the 5 groups.

Are you struggling with a lot of anxiety as you get closer to retirement? If you do not have a fiduciary advisor or CFP, seek one out today. Why? Everyone needs growth in their retirement—and whether you are too cautious or too risky—you need a balanced approach. 

Resources Mentioned

Connect With Scott Wellens

Podcast Disclaimer:

The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.