Rethinking Retirement Realities Survey and Whitepaper in 2018

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WealthVest recently conducted a new survey on retirement realities and updated the corresponding whitepaper

"One striking takeaway was that even after three more years of market appreciation, our survey respondents remain conservative and wary of potential market losses." - Drew Dokken

It has been roughly a decade since the onset of the Great Recession, and WealthVest recently updated the survey it conducted in 2015 to reflect three more years of market appreciation. WealthVest’s recent survey included 848 respondents from across the United States; all respondents were aged 45 and older. One striking takeaway was that even after three more years of market appreciation, our survey respondents remain conservative and wary of potential market losses.

The major discoveries, misconceptions and opportunities facing retirees that we have extrapolated from our survey are updated in our whitepaper Rethinking Retirement: WealthVest’s Retirement Realities Study.

  • Discoveries: Americans remain risk averse, many investors want no-risk investments, and many people hold risky assets despite being conservative.
  • Misconceptions: There are large misconceptions about the safety of bonds in environments with rising interest rates, investors overestimate safe withdrawal rates, and investors expect higher future returns than many analysts predict.
  • Opportunities: There is an opportunity for options that provide lifetime income and principal guarantees and for financial professionals to explain this need to consumers.

This updated whitepaper based on WealthVest’s recent survey is a must-read for financial professionals and investors who want to better gauge the changes in perceptions and realities when it comes to retirement planning and investing.


WealthVest is a financial services firm specializing in the distribution of high-quality fixed and indexed annuity products from top-rated insurance carriers. WealthVest designs, markets, and distributes these essential products throughout the nation and is squarely focused on developing products with the highest consumer value.

WealthVest was founded in 2009 by the former CEO of American Skandia, Wade Dokken, and Lincoln Collins, the former CEO of Hartford Life Limited, Europe. From the beginning, WealthVest has provided financial professionals with thorough coaching, effective face-to-face sales training, marketing collateral, and thought leadership on retirement planning concepts and products of the highest consumer value—offering principal protection and lifetime guaranteed income.

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About the Authors

Drew Dokken

Drew Dokken attended the University of Denver, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in international studies and a minor in economics. After graduating college in 2013, Drew attended the Career Development Program at Jackson National Life. In 2016, Drew completed his Masters in International Business at Hult University in San Francisco.

Wade Dokken

Wade Dokken has 25 years of experience as an annuity marketing innovator and senior-life company executive manager. Wade was the face of American Skandia, leading its sales and marketing since their launch in 1988.

Moving from National Sales Manager to Chief Marketing Officer at American Skandia, Wade led the development of one of the industry’s highest-performing sales teams, reaching 125 field wholesalers in the wirehouse, bank, and financial planner channels and selling variable annuities, 401(k) plans, mutual funds, and variable life insurance. American Skandia was perennially the VA leader in the financial planner channel, and its wholesaling and marketing teams routinely received the highest scores from Market Metrics in key quality measures. Wade was named CEO in 2000 and led the sale of the company through Goldman Sachs to Prudential Financial for $1.2 billion in 2003. Dokken is the author of “New Century, New Deal,” a public policy analysis of the challenges facing Social Security in the coming decades.

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