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Americans With Advisors Are More Confident in Their Financial Security: Northwestern Mutual

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New survey findings from Northwestern Mutual show the advantages of working with a financial advisor.

According to the Northwestern Mutual’s Planning & Progress Study, 67% of Americans who use a financial advisor believe they have clarity on how much to spend now and save for later compared to less than half (44%) of those without an advisor.

The survey also finds that individuals without an advisor are more than twice as likely as people with an advisor (34% vs 13%) to say they are “not at all confident” they have the balance between spending and saving correct. This may be one reason why those without an advisor are more likely than those with an advisor (60% vs. 37%) to point to debt reduction as a top priority.

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“Financial decision-making can be overwhelming, especially when juggling a number of competing priorities,” Sandy Botcher, vice president of distribution at Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. “A financial advisor has the expertise and objectivity to see the whole picture and develop a strategy that’s flexible enough to enjoy life today while securing tomorrow.”

Study results also showed Americans who work with financial advisors demonstrate higher levels of retirement readiness and financial confidence.

For example, more than half of those with an advisor feel very financially secure, while 21% without an advisor said the same.

The study also finds that a majority (59%) of Americans with an advisor believe that, if they work past traditional retirement age, it will be by choice rather than out of necessity. Notably, the inverse is true for those without an advisor, with 6 in 10 (61%) expecting to remain employed past retirement age out of necessity.

Respondents cited several attributes that distinguish a remarkable advisor experience from just an acceptable one.

“Someone I can fully trust to have my best interests at heart/not just out to sell product” emerged as the leading priority (57%).

Other priorities included “not feeling judged on size of assets/financial decisions” (36%) and “deep expertise across a wide range of financial solutions and strategies” (33%).

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“Being entrusted to shepherd someone’s financial life is an honor and a responsibility,” Botcher said in a statement. “There is no greater reward than knowing you’ve played a role in helping clients exceed their own expectations for financial security.”

The importance of relationship also resonated in preferences around the delivery of advice. According to the study, 6 in 10 Americans said a human relationship combined with technology is ideal while only 11% opted for a fully automated solution.