Advisers are familiar with the general challenge of getting people to take advantage of sound financial advice and do more to achieve retirement goals. A recent survey by PNC Financial Services Group quantifies that challenge, and points to some ways to overcome it
One bit of encouraging news from the survey: More than half (54%) report they would like more advice on preparing for retirement from a financial adviser or planner.
Americans who are actively planning for retirement are more likely to visit the dentist or exercise regularly this year than spend time on their investments or retirement planning, according to the newest findings in the PNC Perspectives on Retirement Survey.
Specifically, 84% of survey respondents expect to see their dentist this year for regular cleanings, while only 43% plan to meet with their financial advisor to review their investment strategies. Only 51% intend to create or review a financial plan, according to survey.
"People are finding it easier to develop habits devoted to physical fitness than for financial fitness," says Stephen Pappaterra, head of wealth planning for PNC. "As with physical fitness, reaching a retirement goal doesn't happen by chance. Advisers and clients must have better conversations to create a realistic plan built around their goals and dreams while taking into account their current financial situation."
The survey, which focuses on Americans between the ages of 35 and 70 with at least $100,000 in total investable assets (representative of nearly 20% of U.S. households), also revealed that 62% have not taken steps to prepare a retirement income plan.
Other findings in PNC’s survey revealed insights from those actively planning retirement:
• Off track: Only 19% believe they are doing better than expected on saving for retirement and less than half (47%) believe they are where they need to be. About a third (31%) believe they are somewhat behind where they expected to be.
• Looking for help: Fewer than half (46%) have used a professional financial advisor to develop a financial plan, yet as noted 54% say they would like more advice on preparing for retirement from a financial adviser or planner.
• Best moves: Four in 10 (43%) said their best moves in retirement planning included putting as much as they could into retirement plans, contributing by automatic deduction and keeping money in retirement accounts, while 15 % listed “living within my means” as their best action.
Pappaterra underscores the basic messages that advisers need to be sure participants getting loud and clear. Beyond the basics of paying down debt and maximizing retirement plan contributions, advisers should, as most seek to do, help employees to have a clear idea of what it will take to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, factoring in future health care expenses.
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