What's your money personality?

March 1, 2024

Knowing your money personality can help you and your financial professional create a financial plan that matches your unique retirement goals.

When it comes to financial planning, cold facts and hard numbers can help you determine certain things, such as when you’ll be able to retire and how long you can protect your retirement savings in the current economy. But equally important is the most unique, subjective factor in your whole plan because it’s impossible to quantify: who you are.

Your unique combination of traits and attitudes shape how you think about your retirement years. These will include where you wish to live, your lifestyle and spending patterns, what risks you can accept, and what legacy you wish to leave for your loved ones. Each of these data points can make up your overall money personality.

What is a money personality?

A money personality is a profile that accounts for your patterns of saving, spending and investing.

Understanding yours can help both you and your financial professional better understand your retirement goals and concerns – and how best to meet them. Equipped with this profile, you and your financial professional can focus more quickly and surely on the plan that’s right for you throughout your retirement lifetime.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start your money-personality journey from the beginning. Jackson, in partnership with Advanis, conducted a survey of 1,005 Americans aged 40 to 84 with investable assets between $100,000 and almost $10 million. From this data, we identified five distinct money personalities, each with their own views of how to construct a secure retirement.

Which money personality below feels most like you? The answer could help you better understand your investment needs and style, and lead to more successful retirement planning.

The designer

This personality has a practical approach to money. Designers have worked hard for the money they’ve managed to invest, so they want their financial house to be a safe structure that can weather any storm. They envision long, healthy, active lives with plenty of travel – which causes them to worry about outpacing their savings. As a result, many expect to continue working into retirement. They crave reassurance that they’ll enjoy the retirement they deserve. 

The inspector

The Inspector is pragmatic in scoping out a plan to address the lower-to-middle-class realities of their world. They’re looking for help shoring up their retirement finances so they can depend on them well into the future. This money personality worries even more than the Designer about outliving their money and often looks for an expert guide to lead them toward consistent, predictable financial outcomes. They build their retirement around Social Security along with some tax-free and tax-deferred funds.

The builder

This money personality knows it takes patience, tenacity, and a steady hand to turn goals into tangible reality. The Builder has worked hard to construct a strong retirement guided by a practical blueprint. But Builders know their limits, which is why many rely on a financial professional for help and advice. Even if they have relatively low net worth, their steady discipline gives them the confidence that they’ll have plenty of money throughout their retirement and that they’re on target to meet their financial goals.

The architect

The Architect has the tools and resources to structure the retirement of their dreams. Their plans include not just themselves, but their families too. The Architect typically has a high net worth and has been intentional with it, which means they’re well-prepared for retirement. Their hard work and investment discipline puts them in a good position to enjoy an active retirement with plenty of travel and still leave some of their wealth behind to benefit future generations.

The artisan

Skilled financial do-it-yourselfers who work from their own designs, Artisans trust themselves over just about anyone else to structure their retirement. And they’ve got the know-how and drive to do it. This money personality enjoys the challenge and payoff of managing their own investments. By doing their own research, the Artisan has become something of a self-made financial expert. They also tend to be more accepting of investment risk.

Which money personality are you?

You can get an idea by taking our Money Personality Survey. Choose your level of agreement with each of the following six statements. Then check the Personality Identification Matrix to see which matches your responses.

Money personality survey
Statement Level of agreement
1. I'm on target to achieve my financial goals for retirement. Low High
2. I'm extremely risk-averse with my investments - slow and steady work. Low High
3. I make sure to pay very low fees to invest my money. Low High
4. I prefer to manage all my own investments. Low High
5. I'm very familiar with and have a strong understanding of many types of investment options. Low High
6. If I could, I would pursue a nomadic lifestyle, traveling the world. Low High


Personality identification matrix
The designer The inspector The builder The architect The artisan
Low Low Low Low Low
  • On target to achieve financial goals
  • Familiarity with different investment options
  • Desire to live a nomadic lifestyle
  • On target to achieve financial goals
  • Familiarity with different investment options
  • Pay low fees to invest money
  • Desire to live a nomadic lifestyle
  • On target to achieve financial goals
High High High High High
  • Risk aversion
  • On target to financial goals
  • Strong understanding about investment options
  • On target to achieve financial goals
  • Prefer to manage own investments
  • Strong understanding of investment options

Making the Jackson retirement personas part of your ongoing conversations with your financial professional can add value to retirement discussions, and lead to a more personalized retirement plan. To learn more about the money personality types and which might align with you, check out Jackson’s A blueprint for better retirement planning.

Jackson, its distributors, and their respective representatives do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. Any tax statements contained herein were not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal, state, or local tax penalties. Tax laws are complicated and subject to change. Tax results may depend on each taxpayer’s individual set of facts and circumstances. Clients should rely on their own independent advisors as to any tax, accounting, or legal statements made herein.

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