When considering retirement, people consider whether they will have saved enough money, and when retirement time comes, many may move tolocations more affordable for a fixed budget. But if everyone stays put in their current locations, what areas stack up as having the residents who are the best prepared for retirement? To find out which cities have populations with the most readiness, the Ameriprise Financial planning company put together the New Retirement Mindscape 2012 City Pulse index.
In keeping with the name, the survey takes the pulse of the populations of America's 30 largest metropolitan areas, ranking them based on whether residents have determined how much they will need to save and their saving habits. It asks about their priorities in retirement, like travel, spending time with family and staying healthy, and it gauges their confidence and optimism for their post-career futures. Here they are, ranked by the confidence level of residents.
1. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
Hartford-New Haven residents have the top ranking in confidence of preparation(up from number six last year), and in terms of actual preparedness they rankedsecond. Three quarters of respondents in this metro area have saved for retirement, and 62 percent have saved not just in employer-sponsored plans, buthave established their own savings or investments as well. Seventy percent ofresidents feel positive about retirement, and 34 percent are confident they will reach their goals.
2. San Diego
Almost half of the respondents in San Diego, 48 percent, feel they are on target to meet their retirement goals, according to the survey, and 26 percentfeel they are very prepared. The top priority for San Diegans in retirement is staying healthy, and in second place, just over a third have thought a lot about traveling after retirement. San Diego held the number three spot in the previous year's survey.
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul
The position of the Twin Cities in this ranking has varied widely in the twoprevious years of the City Pulse index, from the number one spot (composite) in2010 to number 18 in 2011. According to the report, one factor that could be behind the dip in 2011 was the state government shutdown that year, while a possible reason for this year's rebound is the agreement to build an NFL stadium in Minneapolis. Of those surveyed, 78 percent had saved for retirement and 40 percent had consulted with a financial adviser.
4. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
Last year's top metro area for retirement readiness is number 4 in the latest ranking. Some 80 percent of Bay Area locals surveyed have taken steps to planfor retirement, including for 32 percent who have spoken with a financial adviser.
Philadelphia jumped to the top five from number 10, with 80 percent of residents surveyed saying they have prepared for retirement. However, only 54 percent have participated in a work-sponsored retirement plan, and about the same amount, 52 percent say they have put money into their own savings or investments.