Retirement prospects increasingly dim for older workersNews added by Benefits Pro on December 13, 2012

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By Andy Stonehouse

Pre-retirees are even less confident about their retirement future than ever before. The good news: They recognize the role that advisors can play in helping them achieve some level of retirement success.

A new LIMRA study, "The Pre-Retiree Market: Surveying the Landscape," finds that only 48 percent of American workers aged 55 to 77 think that they'll be able to achieve the lifestyle they desire during retirement.

But those surveyed were also quick to admit that they, for the most part, hadn't actually done much of anything to begin to strategically prepare themselves for what could be a long retirement.

“Retirement, for some, will make up almost a third of their lifetime,” notes Matthew Drinkwater, LIMRA's associate managing director of retirement research.

"Clearly, our research shows that working with an advisor to plan for this major stage in life is not only wise but has measurable positive results on retirement planning. Retirement preparedness is strongly linked to the completion of key retirement planning activities like determining your income and expenses, calculating your assets and how long they will last, and identifying the things you want to do in retirement and how much they will cost.”

When asked, 30 percent of those surveyed said they hadn't taken any of those first steps, and a majority had yet to complete the simplest computations of post-retirement costs, longevity and budgeting for many, many years without a paycheck.

LIMRA's research does indicate that the prospects are brighter for those pre-retirees who opt to work with an advisor. Those who've made contact with an advisor were twice as likely to have done the foundational work, such as figuring out what assets will be available in the future, and how long they might last.

Thorough, formal retirement plans are a rarity - only 15 percent of pre-retirees have them, though 62 percent of those who've interacted with an advisor have made them.

“The challenge for the retirement industry is to convince more pre-retirees that sound planning truly can boost the likelihood that they will live the lifestyles they have imagined. Some of these activities can be difficult, but they are essential – and help is available.” said Drinkwater.

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