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5 Sinkholes in Your Competitors' Retirement Services: Transamerica Center Survey

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The press releases and articles may make it sound as if all of your colleagues are providing extreme holistic retirement planning, with services ranging from providing Medicare supplement insurance, to sophisticated income planning, to keeping ants off their picnic blankets.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has a new survey report that implies, based on what retirees say their financial professionals actually do, that many of the retirees’ financial professionals do little beyond selling investment products.


  • A copy of the Transamerica center survey report is available here.
  • An article about an earlier Transamerica center survey report is available here.

The center has published data supporting that conclusion in a report based on a survey of 2,040 self-identified retirees conducted from November through December 2019. All of the participants were ages 50 or older, described themselves as a retired, and had worked for for-profit companies with one or more employees for most of their careers.

The center also included data from a survey, of 411 U.S. adult retirees, ages 50 and older, that was conducted in June.

The center sponsored both surveys to see how U.S. retirees are doing, and they conducted the second to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey team found, for example, that:

  • About 13% of the participants in the bigger survey reported having $100,000 or more in annual household income.
  • About 3% of the participants described themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and more than 1% classified themselves as transgender or “Other,” rather than as male or female.
  • About 26% of the participants reported having more than $10,000 in non-mortgage debt.

Only 31% said they had been working with some kind of professional financial advisor to help management retirement savings or investments.

For a look at what those financial professionals are doing and, apparently, not doing for the retirees in the bigger survey sample, see the slideshow above. (Wiggle your pointer over the first slide to make the control arrows show up.)

— Read If Cash Is King, a Life Settlement Is His Crownon ThinkAdvisor.

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