Country Financial recently asked 1,000 American adults in an online survey what financial issues they most seek guidance around.
The findings turned up a significant difference between women and men looking for advice on retirement planning, tax-related issues and other financial matters, with men much likelier than women to tap others for advice.
Not only that, the study showed that 24% of women had never sought financial advice, compared with only 15% of men reporting the same.
Country Financial said a diversity of counsel can have a positive influence in guiding well-informed decisions, especially true as 51% of respondents reported that they were not managing their own investments or savings as well as they should.
Moreover, 43% of men in the survey and 35% of women said they were more comfortable giving financial advice than acting on it themselves.
“Financial Literacy Month is the ideal time of year for Americans to take an inventory of personal money management habits, determine financial priorities and opportunities, and create a circle of trusted advisors to advise the best path forward when it comes to managing finances,” Country Financial’s director of wealth management, Troy Frerichs, said in a statement.
In its statement, Country Financial offered several suggestions.
First, assess money coming in as it relates to current spending and saving patterns, then decide whether you are as responsible with your spending as you should be — 44% of survey respondents said they were not.
Next, leverage what you learned from your personal inventory of finance into short- and long-term goals.
For context, note that survey respondents were most concerned about the following:
- Unexpected expenses — 44%
- Affording health care costs — 41%
- Being able to take desired vacations — 36%
Once you have determined priorities, investigate solutions and opportunities to help reach your goals.
Finally, a network of trusted advisors that can be counted on for advice may prove a big help. Who makes up such a network?
The survey found that 50% of respondents consult a family member for advice, while 40% go to a financial advisor.
Friends, employers and coworkers — named by 16%, 11% and 6% of respondents, respectively — were less common but still valuable for those who considered them trustworthy, resourceful and knowledgeable as it related to their financial future.
Unfortunately, not all financial professionals who put up a shingle rate high on trustworthiness, making it essential to vet a potential advisor.
For those looking to financial advisory firms that offer automated advice platforms (robo-advisors), the SEC recently offered consumer guidance.