The percentage of retirees who are nervous about financial security has doubled in the past year, and many more retirees are seeking professional financial advice.

Researchers have reported that finding in “What A Difference A Year Makes,” a survey report released by LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn.; the Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Ill., and the International Foundation for Retirement Education, Lubbock, Texas.

Among retirees ages 56 to 77 with at least $100,000 in investable assets, 49% said they feel less secure than they felt when they first entered retirement, compared with 20% who said that last year,

About 43% of the survey participants said their willingness to accept investment risk has gone down since last year, with 79% citing “the economy” as a reason for a decline for their ability to tolerate risk.

Other reasons given were worries about future inflation, listed by 45% of the participants; lack of time to recover from the current economic slump, listed by 39%; and a drop in home value, listed by 28%.

The percentage of survey participants who said they have personal financial advisors increased to 61% this year, from 56% last year.

The downturn also has had an impact on retirees’ buying behavior, researchers found.

“While 7 in 10 respondents said they can still cover their basic expenses and afford a few extras, the number who said they spend money on whatever they want dropped sharply from 38% in 2008 to 22% in 2009,” says Sally Bryck, an associate research director at LIMRA.