Americans Should Spend More Time on Long-Term Financial Plans

October 26, 2011 ( – According to a global report from HSBC, many Americans risk facing a cash-strapped retirement as they fail to commit enough time to discussing their long-term financial goals with a qualified financial adviser. 

The report, The Future of Retirement: The power of planning, indicates four in 10 (38%) U.S. respondents surveyed said they would prefer to spend just half an hour seeking professional financial advice on their immediate rather than future needs. The research shows that most people aren’t interested in extended meetings with their financial adviser: only around one in 10 (13%) prefer longer meetings and just 17% would like more than one appointment to review their goals and financial plan.

Over a quarter (29%) of people in the U.S. turn to official Web sites when looking for information on financial products, possibly because this can be done in their own time. Younger groups in America are most likely to cite lack of time as a reason for not having a financial plan, with 12% of those in their 30s saying they don’t have time to seek advice.

HSBC said it has found firm evidence in the survey of a ‘planning premium’ among respondents. Americans who have a financial plan have 2.2 times more than the U.S. average in their pension pot, while non-planners have less than half (41%).

Those Americans with plans have accumulated on average $127,000 in their savings and investments for retirement, compared to the average U.S. household of $56,000. Non-planners have around $23,000. In addition to the financial premium, those who plan enjoy an emotional premium too, being more likely to associate retirement with freedom, excitement, and hope. Almost half (44%) of non-planners link retirement to financial hardship, while this is a concern for less than quarter of planners (19%).

For further information on this and previous reports, visit