Though Americans appear to be saving more for retirement, there’s still much more work to be done with investors, according to the latest findings of the Fidelity Research Institute. Still, those working with advisors to purchase mutual funds and other retirement-savings products appear to be in better shape, the research shows.

According to the Fidelity Research Institute Retirement Index, the typical American household is on track to replace 58 percent of their income in retirement. That’s up from 57 percent a year ago.

The index researchers found that Americans’ median household retirement savings is $22,500, with pre-retirees expecting $29,500 in annual Social Security payments and 51 percent of households anticipating pension benefits of $18,000 a year. Baby boomers have a median of $45,000 in total household retirement savings.

Households working with a financial advisor, though, are better prepared: They are on track to replace 67 percent of their income in retirement, on average. Plus, these households are saving $417 a month versus $167.

“Advisors work with households to create investment plans and continuously follow up with clients to meet the goals of the plan,” shares Martha Willis, executive vice president of Fidelity Investments Institutional Services. She notes that, in general, investors need to aim for replacing 85 percent of income for retirement.

In addition, Fidelity estimates that a 65-year old couple retiring today should plan to spend $215,000 for medical costs in retirement, up 7.5 percent from the 2006 estimate of $200,000.

“There is a great opportunity for financial advisors to differentiate themselves as retirement experts and help [consumers] make choices about health-care issues as well, like long-term care, Medicare options and related matters,” explains Willis.

Janet Levaux is the managing editor of Research; reach her at jlevaux@researchmag.com.