“Our research shows that debt is the barrier to saving for retirement at all ages,” said Kerry Geurkink, director, Annuity Marketing, Securian Financial Group, Inc., in a press release. “Advisers help their clients prepare for retirement. That’s why we say their biggest competition for the client’s time and attention is the client’s debt.”
Securian said the program is aimed at helping advisers assess debt for their clients, and develop a strategy for paying it down while building retirement reserves. “Life after debt: Helping your clients retire smart,” uses Securian research to educate clients about Americans’ attitudes toward debt, how they use it, and how debt affects their ability to save for retirement.
“This is not a debt counseling program, nor is it a finger-wagging lecture about using money wisely,” said Geurkink. “It’s an education process aimed at helping clients understand the reality of their financial situations and how preparing today can help them achieve financial security in the future.”
The program includes several educational pieces including a presentation for advisers to give to a client or group of clients that builds a case step by step for facing debt and dealing with it, according to Securian. Also, the Financial Toolbox at Securian.com includes a calculator and work sheets that can help consumers figure out how quickly they can pay off any level of debt.
Securian’s research shows that nearly half of the 2,000 Americans surveyed place a higher priority on paying off debt than saving for retirement. And that statistic cuts across all age groups, from Generation Y to the Silent Generation. In fact, Securian’s study shows that nearly one-fourth of the retirees interviewed had as much or more debt as assets at retirement, according to the release.