A recent survey from Principal Financial Group confirms that employees who use a financial adviser do significantly better at meeting their retirement savings goals than those who do not.

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index indicates that employees who use a financial adviser for advice, guidance and/or to buy products for a fee or commission are nearly twice as happy with their current financial wellbeing (42%) than employees who do not use a financial adviser (22%).

The data suggest employees who do not use an adviser are significantly more likely to have not yet planned for retirement savings/security (28%) than employees who do receive assistance from an adviser (12%).

Nearly one-quarter of employees (24%) have not yet planned for retirement savings/security.

When asked how they would describe their sentiment regarding the economic outlook for 2011, approximately half of both employees (48%) and retirees (53%) selected “cautious.” 

Employees who do not use an adviser are not likely save enough, will make impulse purchases and live beyond their means, the survey finds. Additionally, heavy credit card use tends to hinder adequate saving.

Three out of five employees agree it has been or will be harder to achieve the American dream than it was for their parents’ generation, while only 44% of current retirees believe so.

Half of the respondents agree that working with an adviser makes the American dream seem more obtainable than it is for those who do not seek help with their finances. Only one-third of employees and two out of five retirees are very or extremely confident in their ability to achieve their future financial dreams.

Employees are most likely to not use an adviser because they feel they do not have enough capital in their savings or investments (27%), they do not want to pay a fee (20%) or they do not trust a financial adviser (14%).

Other key findings of the Well-Being Index:

  • Approximately one-third of employees (35%) and one-quarter of retirees (26%) have altered their vacation plans to save money.
  • In order to save money, 38% of employees are considering a “staycation,” while 13% are definitely staying home instead of traveling for vacation.
  • Almost half of retirees (47%) say expenses during retirement have been about what they expected, while 46% think retirement is more expensive.

Harris Interactive conducted the online survey of 1,134 employees and 523 retirees on behalf of Principal Financial Group as one in a series of quarterly studies to identify and track changes in the workplace of small and mid-sized businesses.

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