Getting Financial Advice Drops in Importance

This year, fewer Americans ranked getting trusted financial advice of prime importance, according to a survey by Prudential Financial.

The number of respondents indicating that getting trusted financial advice was of prime importance was down from 40% in 2008 to 29% this year, according the survey. Prudential said the lower numbers could be because Americans are more cautious about getting advice, or they just can’t afford investment advice.

The survey also found that immediate financial needs are taking precedence over retirement savings. Sixty-three percent of respondents in a recent Prudential Financial survey rated retirement savings as highly important, down from 76% two years ago. Meanwhile, 72% of respondents said having a retirement nest egg large enough to meet their retirement needs was highly important.

The number of people who said they did not know when they would retire headed up in the 2009 poll to 14%, an increase from 9% in 2008. The mean expected retirement age was 64.1 this year, a slight hike from 63.5 last year.

Not surprisingly, Prudential said those who say they were most affected by the economic downturn were the most unsure about when they would stop working.  

The three surveys used in the Prudential report were taken in April and May of 2009 and included 2,500 workplace benefits officials, benefits brokers, and employees. The surveys were conducted for Prudential by the Center for Strategy Research.

The study report is available here