New poll finds that many adults are flying blind into retirement
According to a new survey by the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, more than half of all U.S. adults have never spoken with a financial advisor to ensure they are saving enough to retire comfortably.
The survey polled 3,017 adults, including 605 retirees and 1,664 employed individuals, and found that 54 percent of those polled say they have never spoken to a financial adviser in their lives. Of the employed adults surveyed, 45 percent said they planned to retire before age 67, 18 percent said they plan to retire at 67, and 21 percent plan to work until 70.
"This tells me is that we might have a retirement crisis on our hands from the standpoint of people not preparing," Jim Poolman, executive director of the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, told USA Today. "One of things this project does is highlight the need for people to do long-term financial planning, especially retirement planning."
The poll found that 56 percent of employed adults say they will have to keep working for financial reasons upon reaching retirement age. Around 45 percent want to keep working to stay active, 34 percent want to keep working simply because they enjoy working, and 32 percent want to keep working for the benefits and financial security.
The latest poll comes on the heels of other recent surveys that paint a grim picture about the state of retirement in America.
One phone survey by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates, which was published in USA Today in April, found that nearly one-third of Americans have virtually no retirement savings. Of the more than 2,000 respondents surveyed, 28 percent said they have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions. Another
57 percent of respondents said they have less than $25,000 in savings.
Another recent survey by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services found that only 45 percent of respondents felt “very secure’ in having sufficient savings and income to maintain a comfortable lifestyle during retirement.
The results of these recent surveys highlight the need for people to not wait until retirement is near to make sure their savings are on the right track. Speaking with a financial advisor, even just once a year for an annual checkup, should help retirees and future retirees feel more secure in their savings.
Some of the valuable services financial advisors are able to provide include making tweaks to 401(k) plans that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars, recognizing when a promising mutual fund goes sour before it is too late, or critically analyzing whether or not your retirement portfolio is balanced and diversified enough to meet your specific needs in retirement.
Other reasons to consult a financial advisor before retirement are that taxes, estate planning, rules for gifting to relatives, timing of withdrawals from retirement accounts and other issues can change year-to-year and be immensely complex. Financial advisors stay on the cusp of these rule changes to ensure their clients’ needs are met in every aspect of their financial lives.
One popular trend today is the use of easy-to-use DIY financial tools that are now available online. While these systems can empower individuals to take control of their finances, financial advisors still have a number of cutting-edge financial projection systems available to them to forecast an individual’s needs in retirement as well as the viability of their financial portfolio. They can also create a feasible roadmap to a comfortable retirement, establish a realistic budget, and test the amount an individual can safely withdraw to meet their needs in retirement.
At FMB Wealth Management, we believe in treating your financial health like you would treat your own health. It is important to get regular check-ups, routine maintenance, and the occasional procedure to fix small ailments before it festers into a serious problem.
Smart moves well in advance of retirement will lead to the most comfortable golden years possible. By planning ahead with the right advisor by your side, anyone – no matter their annual income or financial situation – can build up a nest egg that ensures they can live out the most enjoyable, comfortable and stress-free retirement possible.