From the September 2009 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Client numbers rise as confidence sinks

It's been a dramatic year for both advisors and baby boomers, to say the least. And as retirement confidence plummets, advisors have seen the number of new retiree clients spike 5 percent over last year.

A joint study by LIMRA, the Society of Actuaries and the International Foundation for Retirement Education finds 61 percent of retirees aged 56 to 77 with $100,000 or more in investable household assets say they have a personal financial advisor. This compares with 56 percent in 2008.

"Seeking professional help shows how severely things have changed and how unsure retirees are about doing things themselves," says Sally A. Bryck, LIMRA associate research director, who led the project.

Retirees are showing real fear out there, she continues: "While seven in 10 respondents said they can still cover their basic expenses and afford a few extras, the number who said they spend money on whatever they want dropped sharply from 38 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2009."

Today, only one in four of retirees are extremely confident they have saved enough, a 12 percentage point drop year over year.

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