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Seniors on technology: Is it useful?

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How much have advisors embraced new technology and employed it with their clients? We’re continuing to look at data that we’ve collected in recent surveys and will be releasing that information to you. We’ve also gone straight to the source and asked seniors about the technology their advisors use. Following are highlights from those conversations:

I wouldn’t say that technology has had too much of an impact on me or in my dealings with my financial advisor. We’re both what you could call “old school.” He and I are just about the same age, I’m 71, and we both do things the old fashioned way. For the most part, I go into his office or we meet at McDonald’s for some coffee. From there, he brings out a yellow legal pad and he sketches out a few ideas about my retirement. If we’re doing a review, he will bring printouts from his office. It’s worked well for us. I don’t see either of us changing how we do things anytime soon.

Garry, 71


Definitely it’s changed things. Social media, for me, has been the biggest change. I am a friend of my advisor on his Facebook page. This might sound crazy, but I’ve learned more from reading his Facebook feed than I have watching the evening news. He’s a young guy who loves technology. A couple of times a week he writes a column or blog about finances that I read on Facebook. I would not say these writings are dumbed down or anything like that. On the other hand I would say he writes them so that normal people understand what he’s talking about. I am real glad that I am getting that information.

Brandon, 68

Technology is the present and it’s the future. I have worked in biotech my whole life. I always felt like if I went on a vacation or one of the cruises with my wife that I would fall behind. That is how fast things can change if you are not careful. I quit doing business with my former advisor because I did not believe he was keeping up with the times. My new financial advisor is plugged in. I did the research on him. I did a background check and even interviewed him and asked for references. This is my retirement and my wife’s retirement that we are talking about. I know people who spend more time researching what TV they are going to buy than who their financial advisor is going to be. That’s crazy.

Davis, 70
San Diego

My advisor recommended that I get an iPad. I did as he suggested. He has been good on investments and retirement advice. The iPad is pretty easy to use. The Apple people walked me through it at the store for 15 minutes and I was ready to go. My advisor then recommended I get a couple of financial apps that I’ve been going to daily to check markets and investment information. He also gave his last seminar on his iPad. The new technology has been a good way to communicate. I have texted him from the iPad and told him to make changes on my investments. I like it.

Martin, 68

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