NU Online News Service, Sept. 6, 11:38 a.m. – Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, today released the results of a survey that suggest small-business owners realize their need for help with taxes, but may not understand how much help they need preparing for retirement.

The 2002 Nationwide Financial Survey of High-Income Professionals indicates that business owners are more likely than other affluent professionals to feel that tax advice is an important service provided by a financial advisor (65% versus 50%). They also are more concerned about planning for income management in retirement than the total affluent group (72% versus 67%).

But, compared to total respondents in the survey, business owners viewed themselves as less knowledgeable about various financial and retirement savings products.

Fifty-four percent of business owners feel very knowledgeable about 401(k) accounts, compared to 67% of all respondents; 55% feel very knowledgeable about individual retirement accounts, compared to 61% of all respondents; 54% feel very knowledgeable about mutual funds, compared to 60% of all respondents; and 14% feel very knowledgeable about variable annuities, compared to 21% of all respondents.

When asked to rate their retirement preparedness on a scale of one to 10 (where 10 means completely prepared), only 56% ranked themselves eight or higher. That’s slightly less than the rest of the survey respondents.

According to the survey, accountants are a top-of-mind source for financial planning help when it comes to tax planning (67%). And business owners are more likely than any other high-income professional to use an accountant for financial planning help (66% versus 47%).

Business owners are also changing sources of advice more frequently, with 30% having never changed advisors. Forty-seven percent of the other professionals say they have never changed main sources of advice.

The survey, conducted by Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a Washington D.C.-based independent polling firm, surveyed 500 people with annual household incomes of at least $150,000 per year. Respondents were younger than 60 and were either engaged in financial planning or intending to be involved in it in the near future. Respondents were attorneys, medical doctors, corporate executives or small- business owners (including self-employed individuals).