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Clients Shaky on Finance Skills: Survey

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Scary, depressing …both? At least something can be done.

A surprisingly small number of investors — 17.8% of men and 10.7% of women — in a recent Jackson National Life Survey said they felt they had the financial education needed to make important investing decisions. Forty-two percent of men and 55% of women said they did not, and 33.7% of women and nearly 40% of men reported that while they have a solid level of knowledge about financial products, terms and methods, they would still benefit from professional advice to assist in making appropriate investing decisions.

The 2013 Jackson Investor Education Survey gauged the opinions of pre-retirees (investors between the ages of 45 and 65) with more than $200,000 in investable assets, on key topics relating to retirement, investing and financial education.

Matt Gonring, vice president of corporate communications for Jackson, said in a statement that “the identification of key constraints for investors in obtaining relevant financial education is an important first step in helping the financial services industry make a positive impact on investors’ confidence in years to come.”

Not surprisingly, the top financial concern among 74% of women and nearly 76% of men was “saving enough money for retirement.”

The majority of those surveyed also said they did’t believe Social Security will be a significant portion of their retirement income. Even worse, more than 17% of women and nearly 14% of men who responded said Social Security would “not even be enough to purchase a pack of gum” when they retire.

“Unfortunately, more than 40% of those we surveyed do not consider themselves in good financial shape,” said Allison Pearson, assistant vice president of the National Sales Desk for Jackson National Life Distributors, Jackson’s distribution arm. “Clearly the surveyed investors know the task ahead of them in saving and planning for their retirement is an important one.”

Check out Is Financial Education All It’s Cracked Up to Be? on ThinkAdvisor.