Many U.S. workers like the idea of getting retirement savings advice through a face-to-face meeting with a financial professional.[@@]
Researchers with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, have published data supporting that conclusion in a report on the 2005 Retirement Confidence Survey.
The researchers have based their reported data on telephone interviews with 1,001 U.S. workers age 25 and older and 252 retirees.
Although 87% of the survey participants told EBRI researchers they have used retirement planning advice from spouses, 57% have used advice from other friends and relatives, and 55% have used written materials received at work, 63% said they have used advice from financial professionals.
When interviewers asked the participants who already were saving for retirement which resources were the most helpful, financial professionals ran away with the race: 38% of the savers said they found advice from financial professionals the most helpful. About 17% of the savers identified friends and non-spouse relatives as the most helpful resource, and 11% of the savers said their spouses were the most helpful resource.
Fewer than 10% of the savers said information from the Internet, information from the television or radio, or information from seminars was the most useful.
Professionals Vs. Budgets Vs. Books
When interviewers asked all participants, including those were saving for retirement and those who had not started saving for retirement, about their resource preferences, professional financial advisors again came in first, with 37% of all survey participants identifying “professional financial advisors” or “a professional calculation” of retirement saving needs as the most useful retirement saving tools.