Beginning with our August issue, we’ll debut a new column, “Inside the Boomer Mind,” written by Matt Thornhill, founder of The Boomer Project.
We spoke with Thornhill recently to hear what he’s learned about advisors and how they’ve been working with boomers. (As Thornhill explains, the oldest boomers are already, technically, seniors, and that number is growing by the day.)
“Consequently, in January 2009, our firm, the Boomer Project, conducted new research of financial services professionals to learn how advisors and agents are working with boomers to do financial planning,” Thornhill says. “The research was sponsored by the Partnership for Retirement Education and Planning (PREP), an unprecedented coalition of 11 non-profit organizations, including founding partners the Million Dollar Round Table, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the Society of Financial Service Professionals, representing more than 200,000 financial advisors.
“The research reported that 77 percent of advisors said the current economic downturn has had a significant impact on their boomer clients, more than any other generation. Not surprisingly, 73 percent of advisors also said the downturn has made their boomer clients more focused on financial planning.
“Advisors also told us that boomers have neglected planning because they do not fully understand the value (cited by 78 percent of respondents) and are embarrassed that they have not accumulated more assets (mentioned by 70 percent of respondents). The total number of respondents surveyed was 600, which results in a margin of error of +/- 4.0% at the 95% confidence level.