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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

TIAA-CREF: Most Americans don’t follow through on financial advice

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Most Americans say they are concerned about their long-term financial security, but they only follow through on financial advice they receive some of the time, new research reveals.

TIAA-CREF disclosed this finding in a new report, “TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey.” The telephone survey of 1,006 adults ages 18 and older was conducted by KRC Research in July.

The survey observes that just one-third of Americans consistently take action after receiving financial advice. Yet nearly half of the respondents admit they worry about their long-term financial future.

One in five of Americans surveyed say that finding relevant financial advice is difficult. Of these, 51 percent don’t know where to start looking. And 74 percent don’t which sources they can trust.

The most frequently named sources of advice is family and friends, cited by 47 percent of respondents. The next most frequently named advice sources are financial service providers (34 percent), consumers’ primary banks (33 percent), followed by employers (17 percent).

Among the report’s additional findings:

  • Respondents ages 18 to 34 – “Gen Y” – show more interest in getting financial advice than any other age group surveyed. And four in 10 said they frequently look for financial advice. Gen Y is also more likely to report making changes after receiving advice. And nearly 60 percent say they are likely to use online tools to do so.
  • Women are more likely than men to face challenges finding financial advice. Nearly half of women surveyed believe personalized, objective advice will cost more than they can afford. And more than one-third said they don’t have the time to look for it.

However, women are more likely than men to take action on advice received, with nearly 90 percent reporting they do at least some of the time.

Baby boomers (ages 55-64) are the most likely to report financial advice is very difficult to find. Only one in three boomers admit they consistently act on the advice they do receive. 


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