Investors lack knowledge about certain financial products, which leads most of them to use a financial adviser, according to a recent survey from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization representing financial professionals, insurers, asset managers and brokers-dealers.
At least 46% of investors say they are not highly knowledgeable about stocks and mutual funds, and 62% work with an adviser, the survey found. Theyre consulting the adviser about the amount of savings needed, intended retirement age, lifestyle and long-term care planning. Fifty-four percent of investors own bonds, and 38% own annuities.
Planning for retirement with the help of a financial adviser leads to better outcomes and more confidence, says IRI President Cathy Weatherford.
Most investors feel confident about their financial preparedness for retirement, but are concerned about their future expenses for health care and long-term care.
Growing personal savings is crucial because defined benefit retirement plans in the private sector are disappearing, people are uncertain about the future of Social Security, and they are not saving enough, the ICI notes.
Eighty-nine percent of employers offer a traditional 401(k) or a similar defined contribution retirement plan, while 41% provide Roth 401(k)s, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Only 24% of employers offer a defined-benefit pension thats open to all employees, and another 13% have a defined-benefit plan thats frozen.
Meanwhile, 71% of employers offer some form of investment advice, and 43% offer advice specific to retirement preparation, according to SHRM.
When providing investment advice as a benefit for employees, Robert Arnoff, a benefit broker and consultant in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, recommends doing diligent homework to hire a registered investment adviser who is a knowledgeable veteran.
Lets say an employer chooses an adviser who will be giving investment advice -- the registered investment adviser business model, he explains. If this advisers advice is poor, and an astute ERISA attorney is hired by the participant who had a major loss, the first question the attorney is going to ask is, What was the employers credentialing process with this adviser? Then they will investigate if there was someone with greater credentials to give advice within the metropolitan area that this business is located.
Of course, the timing of retirement has a big impact on the adequacy of the savings. About 54% of investors said they expect to retire at age 65 or older, while (18%) said at age 70 or older, and 36% said before age 65. Another 10% were uncertain about when they would retire, the IRI survey found.
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