Recession Delays Retirement by 3 Years, SEI Poll Finds

82% of advisors say their clients are worried that they will outlive their savings

Investors are worried about retiring later with less, according to an SEI Quick Poll released Tuesday. More than three-quarters (82%) of advisors say their clients are “worried that they will outlive their savings” and nearly all say their clients had to delay retirement at least one year following the ‘Great Recession.’ Nearly one-third (30%) of advisors say their clients pushed back retirement by one to three years and more than half (58%) of advisors say their clients now expect to retire three years or more later than previously planned.

“We are just now starting to work our way out of the recession and many advisors are still dealing with clients who are feeling its effects,” John Anderson, head of practice management solutions for the SEI Advisor Network, said in a statement. “The focus for advisors should be to speak with clients now about how their post-retirement plans might have changed and to establish a course of action to make sure their portfolios and other plans are back on track in order to meet their goals. By proactively reaching out on this issue and creating a new strategy or revising an existing one, advisors can help alleviate the fears clients have about running out of money.”

As the recession brought retirement issues to light, advisors seem split on the best age to begin discussing the topic with clients. Overall, advisors tend to agree that earlier is better. More than one-third (37%) say they begin advising clients on the topic when their clients are in their 20s. An additional 30% of advisors say they begin discussing retirement plans when their clients are in their 30s. Less than one-quarter (19%) say they wait until their clients are 40 or older. 

“The recession hit a lot of retirement investments hard and has raised a number of concerns about having enough money to live comfortably,” said Chuck Carrick of DMJ Wealth Advisors in Greensboro, NC. “We can’t go back and change that now. But what advisors can do is help map out the next steps and help clients reevaluate their current situation and prepare as best they can for the future. When it comes to having this conversation, it’s never too early to start. If clients weren’t thinking about their retirement investments before, they are now and they don’t want to worry about running out of money. That is something we can help them with.”

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