More People Seek Financial Advice Through Employers

Although nearly half (48%) of those surveyed who have worked with a financial adviser chose one outside of their workplace, that trend is shifting, TIAA finds.

Seventy-one percent of Americans are interested in receiving financial advice, according to the 2016 TIAA Advice Matters Survey.

Forty-five percent of Gen Y have received advice, but 82% are interested. Thirty percent of those earning less than $50,000 a year have received advice, but 61% are interested in doing so.

Seventy-five percent of people said they would consider taking a job at a company that offers financial advice at no cost; that figure jumps to 87% of Gen Y.

Although nearly half (48%) of those who have worked with a financial adviser chose one outside of their workplace, that trend is shifting. Sixty-four percent of Baby Boomers who have received advice worked with a non-employer-affiliated adviser, but that drops to just 27% of Gen Y respondents.

“Gen Y really wants financial advice, and companies are doing their best to attract top young talent,” says Kathie Andrade, CEO of TIAA’s Retail Financial Services business. “So, it makes sense for employers to add advice to their benefits. Pairing a well-designed retirement plan with strong education and support can go a long way in helping companies attract well-qualified employees and set them on the path to success.”

When it comes to financial advice, Americans believe the earlier the better. Fifty-nine percent say that a first meeting with an adviser should take place before the age of 35—and that figure jumps to 80% for Gen Y respondents. Among those who have received advice, 77% wish they had met with an adviser sooner.

For those who have not worked with an adviser, 35% think they don’t have enough money to invest. Forty-nine percent think they need more than $50,000 to qualify to work with an adviser.

“You don’t need a minimum amount of money to receive professional financial advice,” says Andrade. “An array of effective online tools and resources gives everyone access to personal financial support. And finding a financial adviser early in your adult years, perhaps through your parents or employer, can help put you on a path for financial success.”

NEXT: What people want from an adviser

Eighty-five percent say they would find advice tailored to their age group helpful, and 73% of women say the same about advice tailored for—and delivered by—women. However, only 40% of women have received advice, compared to 56% of men.

Milestone events may prompt Americans to seek professional financial advice, such as retirement (41%), receiving an inheritance (32%), preparing to purchase or sell a home (30%) and planning for a child or grandchild’s college education (20%).

Twenty-nine percent said they would consider working with an adviser if they had a clear understanding of how they would be charged for advice. Twenty-four percent would welcome a recommendation from friends or family, 22% would like to receive assurance that the adviser is qualified to help them, and 20% would appreciate the adviser pledge that they will not try to sell them any particular product or investment.

Investment advice and saving for retirement outside of a workplace retirement plan are the top two topics that Americans would like to discuss with a financial adviser, but topics vary by income levels. Only 30% of people with an annual income below $50,000 have worked with an adviser, but this is true for 49% of people earning more than $100,000 a year. However, those in the lower income group are more interested in creating a budget (34% versus 21%). Twenty-nine percent of people in all income levels are interested in creating monthly income that they cannot outlive.

KRC Research conducted the online survey for TIAA among 1,000 adults in August.