Journal Article
Financial sophistication, salience, and the scale of deliberation in UK retirement planning

Whether people appreciate the importance of saving for the future, and whether they intend to do so, are not well understood. On the basis of a representative sample of UK residents, we show that the perceived importance of pension planning is positively correlated with respondents' risk tolerance, age, and income, and whether their spouses participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. Those less likely to believe planning for the future is important are younger, earn less, are women, and will rely upon others for their expected retirement welfare. It is also apparent that generic sources of information provided remotely or at the national scale for individual and household pension planning, preparedness, and knowledge of annuities do not stand comparison with the perceived value of intimate and specialist advisory relationships. The unit of retirement planning is typically the household; it rarely functions at the region and national scales. To understand these findings better we frame their interpretation with reference to recent behavioural research that emphasises people's limited cognitive and social resources and the use of heuristics such as salience in setting priorities. Our findings have important implications for the scope and significance of the relational turn in economic geography.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsClark GL, Knox-Hayes J, Strauss K
JournalEnvironment and Planning
Volume41
Issue10
Pagination2496-2515
Date Published10/2009
Abstract

Whether people appreciate the importance of saving for the future, and whether they intend to do so, are not well understood. On the basis of a representative sample of UK residents, we show that the perceived importance of pension planning is positively correlated with respondents' risk tolerance, age, and income, and whether their spouses participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. Those less likely to believe planning for the future is important are younger, earn less, are women, and will rely upon others for their expected retirement welfare. It is also apparent that generic sources of information provided remotely or at the national scale for individual and household pension planning, preparedness, and knowledge of annuities do not stand comparison with the perceived value of intimate and specialist advisory relationships. The unit of retirement planning is typically the household; it rarely functions at the region and national scales. To understand these findings better we frame their interpretation with reference to recent behavioural research that emphasises people's limited cognitive and social resources and the use of heuristics such as salience in setting priorities. Our findings have important implications for the scope and significance of the relational turn in economic geography.

URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1068/a41265