Benefits

Americans Need Personalized Financial Advice

October 25, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Individuals are more than 60% more likely to implement a financial change when there is an explicit investment recommendation versus general guidance.

By Kristen Heinzinger editors@plansponsor.com | October 25, 2012

A TIAA-CREF survey found that Americans need individualized advice, with one in five saying finding relevant financial advice is difficult. Of those, 51% said they do not know where to start looking, and 74% said they do not know which sources they can trust for financial advice.

The survey also found that the desire to seek advice and take action differs based on age, gender and other individualized factors.

Respondents ages 18 to 34, or Gen Y, showed more interest in getting financial advice than any other age group surveyed. Four in 10 said they frequently look for financial advice. Gen Y also was more likely to report making changes after receiving advice, and nearly 60% said they are likely to use online tools to do so.

Women respondents were more likely than men to face challenges finding financial advice, the study found. Nearly half of women surveyed believe personalized, objective advice will cost more than they can afford, and more than one-third said they do not have the time to look for it. However, women were more likely than me to take action on advice received, with nearly 90% reporting they do at least some of the time.

According to the results, Baby Boomers were the most likely to report financial advice was very difficult to find. Furthermore, only one in three Boomers admitted they consistently act on the advice they receive.

"The fact that people are not consistently acting on the advice they receive comes as no great surprise,” said James Nichols, senior managing director, advice and planning services at TIAA-CREF. “People are all too often inundated with information telling them to save more, cut costs and plan for retirement, but how you go about that differs for every person.”

The survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone among a national random sample of 1,006 adults ages 18 years and older nationwide between July 11 and July 17, 2012. For more information, click here.

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