As you continue to connect with your senior clients, it’s good to know what they’re worrying about, what they look for in an advisor and how to best reach their needs. Each year, we produce a senior survey and talk with the 60-plus demographic to answer those questions.

Our goal in putting together this survey is to help you make that connection with your clients. Be on the lookout for the 2012 survey in the upcoming weeks. We encourage you to provide a link to the survey to your clients (their name and contact information will always be kept confidential) 

Also, if you are 60-plus, please take the survey yourself. After all, if you fall in that category, you are a senior.

As I’ve been preparing this new survey, I have been studying last year’s results to get a handle on what your clients are thinking about. Following are some highlights I thought you might find interesting. Take a look and see if this is a good representation of what you’re hearing from your clients.

  •  86 percent of the roughly 200 people age 60 to 81 who took the poll said they have yet to retire.
  • When asked why they are still working, 63 percent said it’s because they like to work.
  • 19 percent said they’ve postponed retirement “to stay above water.” Or as one respondent said: “Have no choice but to work.”
  • A quarter of respondents had a total annual household income of $100,000 or more, with more than half boosting total assets, including their home, of between $250,000 to just under $2 million.
  • Several seniors made it clear they are definitely worried about what is going on in Washington, D.C. and how it will affect their plans for the future. “The proposed $500 billion of cuts to Medicare, plus more cuts and changes coming whether through Republicans or Democrats, are terrifying. We need to pull out of three wars and save our own people,” said one respondent. “Who knows?” said another. “Given the current Congress, the President and the way they are messing with even basic services.”
  • Despite the hit their portfolios took back in 2008, only a quarter (24 percent) said the financial meltdown kept them working longer than they’d like. And most stated they were either very to somewhat confident they could meet their retirement goals.
  •  46 percent have purchased LTCI, with a clear majority (58 percent) indicating they feel it is too expensive. “Don’t feel it is the best product for the money,” said one. Yet when asked to comment on the question, most said it was because health issues make them uninsurable.
  • 56 percent have set up an estate plan, but 70 percent of those who haven’t expressed no interest in doing so.
  • “I’ve been stupid with money all my life. I wish I could learn to make good financial decisions,” said one senior.
  • And, finally, 62 percent said they do currently get financial advice. 

For more exclusive coverage on the senior market, see:

The Silent Generation Speaks

Seniors Speak Out on Finances and Health

Tailor-Made Retirement Plans