K-12 Educators Prefer Advisers for Retirement Planning

Educators who work with an adviser are nearly twice as receptive to learning about managing finances from social media as their peers who do not.

Educators preparing for retirement value working with an adviser to learn about managing their finances above other frequently used ways, according to a new study released by Security Benefit.

Among K-12 educators, Millennials are the most likely to work with an adviser to prepare for retirement and manage their finances, at 58%, compared with 50% of Baby Boomers and 46% of Gen X, the Security Benefit “State of Educator Finances” survey shows.

“There are more tools available than ever for educators to learn about how to manage their finances, but clearly there continues to be a preference for the professional adviser,” said David Byrnes, head of distribution at Security Benefit, in a release. “Our survey found that educators are passionate about pursuing and achieving financial security but sometimes lack the tools to do this and are looking to advisers to guide them through this critical process.” 

The survey found that 36% of survey respondents prefer in-person/online courses, 33% prefer financial apps and 30% friends and family as other ways to learn about managing finances and preparing for retirement. None of the options were cited more frequently than working with a financial adviser.   

Millennial educators are keen to have the help of an adviser to manage their finances, and 23% want someone to completely manage their finances, compared with 15% of Gen X respondents, the survey found. For younger educators, social media channels were also popular, as 23% of Millennials reported social media was one of the top three ways that they preferred learning about managing their finances, versus 11% of older respondents.

Survey respondents were also asked to select one of three areas—financial security, mental health or physical fitness—where they need the most help reaching their goals; 45% of respondents said they need the most help achieving financial security. This is more than double the number who said they need the most help hitting their mental health goals, according to the survey.

The survey also asked respondents what financial security means to them. Respondents predominantly cited having short- and long-term savings established. Educators rated saving for retirement and having an emergency savings fund as the top two areas that aligned with their perception of what financial security means.  

Among Baby Boomers, 61% said that saving for retirement is the area of financial education where they need the most help, the survey found.

“While saving for retirement was rated as the most important element of financial security, it’s an area where even soon-to-be retirees express a strong need for assistance,” said Jim Kiley, head of Eastern Sales at Security Benefit, in the release. “If advisers can reach educators earlier in their careers, they can help set them up for success in retirement.”

The survey was conducted online by Directions Research from March 3 to March 11, 2022, among 502 U.S. adults over the age of 25 who are K-12 educators or teachers.