Largely due to their experiences during the recent recession, 22 percent of retirees and 30 percent of pre-retirees believe they need more professional advice than they are getting about investing and saving for retirement, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries.
Half of the retirees in the survey and nearly three-quarters of the pre-retirees said they need to save more money for retirement. More than half of the retirees and two-thirds of the pre-retirees said they need to do a better job of planning and managing their finances.
The SOA attributes much of the financial concern among retirees and pre-retirees to the economic recession.
While retirees and those approaching retirement age represent an important market for financial advisors, they are obviously not the only one. A separate study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans in their late 30s are more concerned about their ability to provide financially for themselves in retirement than people in any other age group. Some 53 percent of people aged 36 to 40 are “not too” or “not at all” confident that they will have the financial resources to sustain themselves through retirement.
In 2009, a similar Pew survey found that only 18 percent of those 36 to 40 had these concerns. In that poll, people between the ages of 51 and 55 were most concerned about their retirement finances.
What’s changed since 2009? The recession zapped the financial resources of many adults in their late 30s. The median wealth of people in this group fell by $56,000 (inflation-adjusted) between 2000 and 2010. This represents a 56 percent decline (much of it due to lower home values), the largest by far of any age group.
The 2008-2009 recession left many Americans concerned about their ability to pay for retirement. They are simply not confident that they will meet their financial goals. The good news, according to these surveys, is that a significant portion, at least among older Americans, is open to receiving professional investing and retirement savings advice.