Here’s a survey which seems to go against all conventional wisdom regarding the role that advisors play in their clients’ lives: According to research by LIMRA, less than 50 percent of retirees using advisors say that they have been helped in understanding the details of retirement income.

In an announcement during last week’s 2010 Retirement Industry Conference in Washington, D.C., the survey, Positioning Assets in Retirement–conducted among almost 1,000 recent retirees with investable household assets of $200,000 or more–suggests that retirees feel they are not being given adequate advice on when to retire, how to plan for expenses and income in retirement, or which assets to be used first.

“RIAs and registered reps seem most likely to have that conversation,” says Marie Z. Rice, LIMRA’s corporate vice president of retirement research. “But this doesn’t seem to be the case with independent financial planners. As a result, retirees are looking at their retirement income as one big bucket of money, rather than analyzing it as monthly income.”

However, advisors surveyed by LIMRA contend that they are actively involved in retirement income planning (90 percent), managing assets (77 percent) and doing expense planning (73 percent).

Where’s the disconnect, or the reason for the lack or recall on the part of clients? Rice suggests that a simple, five-question checklist for both pre-retirees and retirees might help jog their memory or get them thinking about your services in more concrete terms:

1. When should I retire?

2. How do I plan for my expenses and income?

3. Which funds should I draw from first?

4. What required minimum distributions do need to perform and when?

5. What risks should I plan for when I retire (such as outliving your money)?

Also, advisors need to be cognizant of how they represent themselves and market themselves to the public and if they have “retirement DNA,” the deep knowledge and commitment to retirement planning necessary to build faith with clients.