What’s Your R-ScoreSM?
Nationwide Financial Redefines “Retirement Calculator” with Unique, Interactive Experience
Market Research Demonstrates Boomers Turning to Web for Retirement Planning Needs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2006
Lauren Dettloff 312-751-3540
Suzanne Kennedy 212-453-2451
Columbus, Ohio— In response to the growing need for a different kind of retirement preparedness resource, Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: NFS) today announced the launch of RetirAbility CheckSM. RetirAbility CheckSM, available at www.nationwide.com, is a free, innovative and customized financial resource that enables users to generate a single number — their R-ScoreSM, similar to a credit score — that measures their retirement readiness.
Recent Nationwide research shows nearly half of Americans go online to search for financial planning resources and information, yet many (44 percent) believe financial service providers are missing the mark on ease of use and content.
“Our research indicates Americans want to be engaged beyond just data, statistics and online questionnaires,” said Keith Millner, senior vice president of Nationwide Financial’s In-Retirement business unit. “With RetirAbility CheckSM, Nationwide created a new definition of retirement tool. Each step has been strategically planned to keep the user engaged. The result is an experience that is new, smart, entertaining…and a bit different.”
RetirAbility CheckSM is based on solid research and is the first retirement preparedness resource that helps consumers evaluate their retirement readiness against that of their peers. The peer-level comparison data is derived from the National Retirement Risk Index, exceptional research conducted by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and funded by a grant from Nationwide. The Index revealed a disturbing fact — 43 percent of Americans are at risk of being financially unprepared for retirement.1
“The Index discovered that Americans need more sources of guaranteed lifelong income, smarter investment strategies and increased savings. Nationwide sought to translate all of this intelligent research into a consumer-friendly format. RetirAbility CheckSM is a unique combination of strategic, independent research and creative, fresh thinking. The result is a fun experience that allows users to evaluate their financial risk profile in the context of their peers,” said Millner.
1 (Full report and other details are at: http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/nrri.shtml)
RetirAbility CheckSM — which is free and anonymous — is simple to use, open to anyone and can be completed in less than eight minutes:
1. Users are introduced to RetirAbility CheckSM by an engaging host, who challenges them to find out how prepared for retirement they are “in the amount of time it takes to make a box of macaroni and cheese.” Users fill out basic demographic and financial information.
2. Users are then introduced to their RetirAbility CheckSM guide, similar in age and gender, who guides them through the process, keeps it light-hearted and provides no-holds-barred commentary on their answers. The guides interact with users in surprising and sometimes quite comical ways – from playing the air guitar to acting out animal sounds, it all depends on who is answering the questions, and how!
3. As users move through the questions, they receive factoids and tips about how to improve their score, all while being teased and cajoled by their online guide.
4. Once information-gathering and assessment are complete, the peer guide reveals the user’s R-ScoreSM. The score represents how prepared users are to meet their retirement needs. In other words, a score of 56 means they are on track to have 56 percent of what they need to maintain their current standard of living if they retire at age 65.
5. Users will receive a description of the score and be presented feedback on the number; peer and national averages appear here as well, giving the user information about how his or her score compares to others.
6. At this point, the user receives personalized suggestions for score improvement.
"RetirAbility CheckSM is not your average online experience — From its credible research base and interactive structure to its irreverent tone and consumer-friendliness, there is nothing like it online,” said Millner. “Nationwide Financial believes it is imperative consumers are challenged in new ways to improve their retirement readiness. RetirAbility CheckSM is one of the first steps in empowering consumers to meet personal retirement goals.”
RetirAbility CheckSM and the Index are based on data from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances, which is a comprehensive measure of household finances that includes Social Security, employer-sponsored pensions, non-pension financial assets and housing. The Index bundled together complex pieces of the retirement puzzle to come up with a collective measurement of our retirement readiness as a nation.
About Nationwide Financial
Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: NFS), a publicly traded company based in Columbus, Ohio, provides a variety of financial services that help consumers invest1 and protect their long-term assets, and offers retirement plans and services through both public- and private-sector employers.
Investments Retirement Insurance nationwide.com One Nationwide Plaza Columbus, OH 43215-2220
It’s part of the Nationwide group of companies, which offers diversified insurance and financial services. The group is led by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, which is ranked No. 98 on the Fortune 100 based on 2005 revenue2. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide and the Nationwide Framemark are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member NASD. In MI only: Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation.
1 Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member NASD. In MI only: Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation.
2 Fortune Magazine, April 2006
About RetirAbility CheckSM
The National Retirement Risk Index, developed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College funded by a grant from Nationwide, illustrated that 43 percent of working-age households are "at risk" of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement. RetirAbility CheckSM takes the next step in delivering what consumers need such as sources of guaranteed lifelong income, smarter saving options and better investment strategies. RetirAbility CheckSM provides consumers a distinct and easy way to see exactly where they stand by offering insights on increasing their retirement readiness. Using this resource, consumers create and learn about their own personal retirement readiness score – thereby giving them a starting point to learn more about financial strategies and to take action to implement those strategies. Visit www.nationwide.com/RetirAbilityCheck for more information.
About The National Retirement Risk Index
The National Retirement Risk Index, developed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, is based on data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The Index is a comprehensive measure of household finances that includes Social Security, employer-sponsored pensions, non-pension financial assets, and housing. The Index was funded by a grant from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.