Middle-Income Boomers Could Use Professional Advice

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, a survey finds.

According to a recent survey from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, 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.

About half (48%) who work with a financial professional are confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement regardless of current asset level, while less than one-third (30%) without a professional feel the same way.

“Options are available for nearly any income and asset level, age and risk tolerance,” says Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life. “Boomers need to take the initiative, reach out to one or more professionals and develop a financial plan for their future, because as we can see, the results tend to pay off.”

Additional survey findings are available here.