Here is a research finding that might make income planners gulp. In a recent survey, Thrivent found that 94% of adults ages 60 to 74 who did not work with retirement income professionals said they weren’t interested in having professionals guide them on how to manage their money or draw money from their retirement nest egg (see our brief report on this here).
The researchers sampled views of 80 adults, and only 22% said they had discussed retirement income planning financial planners.
This brings up many questions: does the survey group represent a broad cross-section of American retirees? Does the polled group have traditional defined benefit pensions as well as Social Security? Are the non-interested people well-off enough to need income planning? Have the uninterested ever worked with financial professionals? Have people in the satisfied group worked with their advisors for a long time? Does the satisfied group fit any identifiable demographic that would predispose them to consult with financial advisors?
Still, the finding that so many people expressed disinterest in retirement income planning is arresting.
After all, the financial services industry is gearing up for a major influx of baby boomers onto the retirement income planning shores. Substantial industry research has documented the need for professional assistance, and some early players in this market say sales demonstrate that boomers do act on this need.
So, then, how to make sense of the Thrivent findings?
The findings no doubt reflect the general lack of awareness about retirement income planning-what it is, why it is, how it works, and especially how it can help people have a comfortable retirement. Since lack of familiarity often breeds distrust, it should come as no surprise that some people don’t want professional help in this area.