Deloitte (the accounting and financial services firm) recently released the results of a study that asked people about their decision to engage professional help in retirement planning. With millions of Baby Boomers entering or nearing retirement, planning for it will be a hot topic for years to come.
The study found that about 66% of people don’t consult professionals for advice. Of those with more than 15 years until retirement the number is about 75%.
A third of respondents felt they didn’t need professional advice, yet only 22% of all respondents feel confident that they can meet their financial goals in retirement.
The obvious question then, is: why do so few people seek professional retirement advice? Unfortunately, the answer is much less obvious. Only 13% said they had a bad experience in the past. Another 12% said they couldn’t afford to hire a professional.
Many people simply don’t want or feel they need professional advice. Maybe they have not saved enough and don’t want to hear “the answer”. Others (think entrepreneurs, executives, other 50 hr. work-week professionals) simply don’t love the elements of personal finance enough to make the time to do it. They hope it’s enough to contribute to their 401k or profit sharing plan at work.
The majority of “boomers” don’t have a pension plan in retirement (like their parents). Social Security should be there but it is not enough. The majority of retirement income will still need to come from invested assets, or from continued employment (which is not always a bad thing).
Regardless of the reasons to engage, or not to engage professional retirement advice, most people agree that retirement planning is critical and complex. It’s not terribly hard but it does take time, effort and a great deal of interest in the subject.
Here’s a list of competencies and interest areas for the “do-it-yourself” retirement planner. If that’s not you, then use this list to qualify a professional who can demonstrate expertise in these areas:
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