U survey evaluates retirement changes

By By Jake Hibbard, Staff Writer

By Jake Hibbard, Staff Writer

A year after the economic collapse, a U study is looking into the possibility of people changing the ways they save for retirement.

The department of family and consumer studies and the U benefits department will conduct a study in October that will look at U employees’ ideas and plans for retirement.

The study, which will be open to any U employee, will be done in a two-part process.

Participants will first fill out an online survey. It will include questions concerning how much the participants believe they have prepared for retirement, general fears about retirement and plans they have made to adjust to the new economic climate. The U’s benefits department will then collect information about what retirement plans the participant has actually made.

After the surveys and retirement plans are collected, participants’ names will be removed to ensure anonymity and the information will be sent to the U department of family and consumer studies to evaluate the results.

Robert Mayer and Cathleen Zick, professors in the U’s department, are conducting the study. Mayer said he will look at people’s fears expressed in the surveys compared to how they have actually acted upon these concerns.

“I think (this study) will show that while people are indeed worried and are changing their attitudes and expectations about retirement, (they) have done little about it,” said Mitch Marsden, a senior in consumer and community studies, who is working alongside Mayer in the study.

John Burton, who recently retired as a professor in the department, said he was lucky to have planned for an economic downturn, citing that his preparation was the reason that he was able to retire without much adjustment.

“The only change we might make is to find cheaper international adventure trips and maybe vacation less often,” Burton said.