As more and more baby boomers age into the senior market, this group is becoming an increasingly desirable prospect base for advisors. Wealthy, digitally savvy, and often still working, today’s seniors have a number of questions for advisors and, especially coming out of a recession, a need for financial advice. As health care costs skyrocket and the housing market remains unsteady, even the affluent are worried about their ability to have the lifestyle they want across a twenty-year retirement.
In a data-driven age, there is no shortage of statistics that will help you understand this market. Here, we’ve distilled the swath of stats into a relevant sample, taken from our 2014 Senior Survey, as well as several other industry sources.
1. Seniors have a lot on their minds.
Once viewed as a Golden Age, retirement today can be a fear-filled prospect. Seniors face a much longer life expectency (around 85 years), much higher health costs ($215,000 for a couple across a 20-year retirement) and, scariest of all, the prospect of having far fewer resources to pay for it. Adding to these concerns, a large portion of this market is struggling to eliminate debt. As part of our 2014 Senior Survey, we asked more than 200 senior respondents what they would do with a $25,000 windfall; 35% said they would pay down debt. Lesiure expenses traditionally associated with retirement barely made it on the list; just seven percent said they would use the money to go on a vacation, while eight percent said they would use the money to make a major purchase, like a car or a house.
2. Retirement concerns run the gamut — even among the affluent.
A recent study by Legg Mason surveyed 500 affluent investors (defined as those with at least $200,000 in investable assets) to determine their outlook entering retirement. An impressive 88 percent of them were confident their assets would fund a comfortable retirement, but they still didn’t have complete ease of mind. Most of their concerns centered around the unknown: Will an unforeseeable health care event change my financial situation? Will Social Security and Medicare remain solvent? (And what do I really need to know about Medicare, anyway?) Perhaps most disturbing, the majority of survey respondents held the opinion that most financial advisors were not equipped to advise on retirement health care costs, a primary area of concern.