A new study by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement shows that only four out of ten Americans use the services of a financial professional when planning for retirement. In finding that baby boomers are an under-served market, Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement President Scott Goldberg, says that 85% of middle-income boomers have not been contacted by a financial professional in the past year, while 63% say they've never been contacted. The study indicates these boomers would either prefer to work on their own, say they don't have enough assets to warrant an advisor or feel it would be too expensive to use an advisor.
Goldberg feels the advisor industry has a "well-deserved reputation" of working with the higher end of the market, with many of them charging a percentage of fees based on assets and so, it "behooves them to work with larger clients." That being said, Goldberg says there is a big need for these services in the middle market and he is starting to see more models evolve where advisors can work more closely with those with fewer assets.
Studies show that those working on their own make classic investing mistakes, aren't saving enough and aren't well-prepared for retirement. When this group has been asked if they ever expect to retire, 94% say they expect to, however they feel unprepared. "There is a disconnect between the assets they've saved so far and what their expectations are," Goldberg points out. There are more people working past the traditional age of 65 in the middle-income group, realizing they're going to have to work a bit longer.
Middle-income boomers who work with a financial professional report higher degrees of satisfaction and do have higher assets, possibly because those are at the higher end of the middle market are targeted more aggressively by financial advisors. When looking at those in the middle market who are working with advisors, there is a large group of them who had much fewer assets when they began working with their advisor and their assets have grown over time. In this study, it was found that three-quarters of middle-income boomers who work with a financial professional for more than ten years, have more than $100,000 in assets. For those just starting out, they usually have less, adds Goldberg.
Scott Goldberg is President of Bankers Life and spoke with Retirement News Today about their study. To read more on the study results, click here. Retirement News Today is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.