How savvy are Americans about retirement finances? Apparently, not very. That’s one conclusion drawn from an eye-opening article on planadviser.com—headlined Middle-Income Boomers Could Use Professional Advice–that reports on a survey from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. The story notes that “eighty-three percent of middle-income Baby Boomers have not had any type of formal training or education about topics related to retirement financial security.” Other excerpts from the piece:
“According to [the survey], 59% of middle-income Baby Boomers do not receive professional financial guidance of any kind, whether formal or informal. At the same time, a majority (62%) have some doubts that they will have enough savings to last throughout retirement.
“The lack of education, services, and confidence can be attributed to a disconnect between Boomers and financial professionals, Bankers Life researchers suggest. The survey shows approximately four in 10 (39%) Boomers with between $25,000 and $100,000 in annual income do not think they need financial advice because they prefer to make their own financial decisions.
“The survey also finds many middle-income Boomers could be without adequate retirement plans due to the tendency of the financial services industry to cater to wealthy Americans. Of Boomers without a financial professional, 85% have not been contacted by one asking for their business in the past year, Bankers Life says, and another 63% have never been contacted. Among Boomers with an active relationship with a financial professional, 25% sought out the relationships themselves, while a mere 6% say the relationship was initiated by the adviser.
“The relationships between middle-income Boomers and professionals can have positive results. Those who do turn to a financial professional generally have more saved for retirement. More than one-quarter (26%) who have a financial professional have investable assets of more than $500,000, compared to only 5% of those without a professional.
“Middle-income Boomers should realize that not all of those working with a financial professional start with high levels of assets, according to Bankers Life. The study shows less than half (43%) who have worked with a professional for less than two years have less than $100,000 in investable assets, while a strong majority (75%) who worked with a professional for 10 or more years have more than $100,000 in investable assets.”