- rollovers to qualified plans or IRAs - 19.3% in 1993 vs. 45.2% in 2012
- purchase of home, start of business, debt, mortgage - 17.6% in 1993 vs. 28.2% in 2012
- consumer spending, dental and medical expenses, general everyday spending - 22.7% in1993 vs. 7.5% in 2012
What I think this suggests is that while saving for retirement is a very important goal, it is still part of a more comprehensive financial picture. Understanding this and creating solutions to help individuals who are trying to navigate their own situations will be key to keeping them on the right path toward a more secure retirement. Merely telling a participant to save more for retirement without addressing their other financial circumstances will most likely fall short. While we have seen average account balances continue to rise to record levels and rebound from the economic decline of 2008-2009, the precipitous drop in housing prices at that time has made many individuals and families continue to struggle to bounce back. Nonetheless, the EBRI report is encouraging because it suggests that individuals are doing their best to act responsibly in managing their finances to the best of their respective abilities.