Nearly one half of Americans guessed on retirement plans - Turn a rude awakening into an opportunity

By Emily Hutto

ProducersWEB


I once heard over happy hour that in this day and age, you need at least one million dollars saved up to retire. But like most predictions about retirement, this was probably just hearsay.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently published a study confirming what most of us could have already guessed about Americans’ retirement planning: For most of us, it's a very loose concept.

An article on MSN Money says, “In many cases, the approach could be better described as wishful thinking.”

The survey revealed that people don’t plan to save enough for retirement, that most plan to retire after age 65 or not at all and that most start their retirement saving too late. The most shocking statistic: 47 percent of survey respondents said that they chose a retirement plan by guessing.

So nearly one half of Americans lack the financial literacy to make educated savings decisions? Talk about a rude awakening.

Fortunately for advisors, though, this rude awakening can be taken as an opportunity. More now than ever, critical to advisors’ success is their visibility and their credibility, which they can achieve by being teachers. If advisors can demonstrate to potential clients (via social media, perhaps?) that they are knowledgeable about the products they sell, then consumers will be much more likely to purchase them.

Key to being a teacher is being an approachable teacher. As the Transamerica study proves, Americans are ignorant to retirement strategies, and need financial information presented to them that is free of jargon and other industry speak. They need facts and case studies. They want to trust their financial advisors, and not feel like anyone is trying to sell them.

What are some of your best practices for teaching clients about retirement options?