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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Americans Don’t Know Who to Trust on Money Matters: TIAA-CREF Survey

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Nearly half of Americans in a survey released Tuesday said it was hard to know which sources of financial advice could be trusted.

Respondents in TIAA-CREF’s second annual Financial Advice Survey also pointed to perceived cost and lack of time as factors that prevented them from seeking advice.

Key findings from the survey showed the following:

  • 48% said it was hard to know which sources of financial advice could be trusted
  • 37% said they didn’t like talking to anyone about their finances
  • 46% said that more than ever, they needed a trusted place to go for financial advice
  • 40% thought good financial advice cost more than they could afford
  • 33% said they lacked time to get proper financial advice
  • 58% said they would prefer to get financial advice from a single point of contact or location.

KRC Research conducted the telephone survey among a national random sample of 1,000 adults, age 18 years and older, between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2.

Survey results for 2013 also revealed notable differences in the perception of financial advice and management among different segments of the population.

The Gen X segment (ages 35 to 44) led all age groups in seeking advice on retirement, with 80% of those who sought financial advice looking for more guidance. Gen Xers were also the largest segment to rely on financial service provider websites or online tools for financial advice.

The Gen Y segment (ages 18 to 34) was most likely to say it was a little or not at all informed about retirement planning, with 43% claiming they lacked information. Unsurprisingly, Gen Yers were the most likely segment to focus on managing student loans and to rely on friends and family for financial advice.

Fifty-six percent of women in the new survey said they were confident they were saving enough for retirement, compared with 65% of men who were confident. Women continued to rely more on friends and family for financial advice, while men gravitated toward financial service provider websites and online tools.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents 55 to 64 said they were informed about retirement planning, and 85% said they acted on the financial advice they received some or most of the time. Indeed, 53% who received financial advice said they had increased their retirement savings contributions.

TIAA-CREF said this year’s survey found notable changes in the kinds of advice Americans sought from financial advisors, compared with 2012 survey results.

In 2013, 63% of Americans who received financial advice wanted information on saving for retirement, versus 52% in 2012. And 54% who received advice said they were looking for how to make their retirement savings last, a nine percentage-point increase over 2012.

In 2013, 40% of Americans sought education-related financial advice, compared with 30% who did in 2012.

Respondents liked financial advice and tools designed specifically for different groups. Forty percent of those seeking advice used financial service provider websites or online tools to find information, a more than a 15 percentage-point increase from 2012.

Forty-seven percent said it would be helpful to receive financial advice through webinars, 46% through live seminars and 45% through interaction with someone online.

Check out The Most Important Ratio in HNW Retirement Planning on ThinkAdvisor.


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