Investors Want to Discuss Risk and Retirement Income

While 80% of investors say their adviser discusses risk tolerance, only 50% say they bring up the subject of guaranteed lifetime income.

Investors are interested in discussing how they can protect themselves in times of market volatility, but they are also interested in discussing guaranteed retirement income, AXA found in a survey of more than 1,000 individuals and 300 financial professionals.

Seventy-nine percent of individuals are interested in learning about an option that offers principal protection and the potential for growth. However, only 50% of people say their adviser has discussed guaranteed lifetime income, whereas 80% say they have discussed risk tolerance.

When their financial professional brings up the topic of lifetime income, 56% of individuals rate them highly. When they do not, only 34% do so.

Additionally, the survey found that 66% of investors prefer investments with a certain return, 83% say that not losing principal is extremely or very important, 73% are concerned that their income will not last throughout retirement, and 92% expect inflation to negatively impact their retirement expenses.

“Financial professionals play a key role in supporting their clients in reaching their retirement goals,” says Kevin Kennedy, head of the individual retirement business at AXA U.S. “Clients want their financial professionals to move beyond the standard risk tolerance questionnaire and engage them in a thorough discussion of options, including income planning for health care expenses.”

The research also found that nearly 60% of individuals say they are only somewhat or not at all well prepared for a major health event and only 20% say their adviser has helped them estimate retirement health care costs.

“This research underscores financial professionals’ pivotal role in helping retirement savers to gain comfort around their ability to withstand market volatility and the potential role of high quality annuity products in helping to achieve financial security,” says Catherine Weatherford, president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute. “In return, financial professionals will be rewarded with higher client satisfaction.”

Greenwald & Associates conducted the survey in the fourth quarter of last year.