By Cyril Tuohy
A recent survey by TIAA-CREF, the teachers’ pension fund giant, finds that Americans aren’t really sure whom to trust when it comes to financial advice, and that they are generally uncomfortable speaking about money.
The random-sample survey of 1,000 adults nationwide, published in the second annual Financial Advice Survey, found that 48 percent of respondents say it is hard to know which sources of financial advice they can trust. At the same time, 46 percent of respondents said they need a trusted place to go for advice.
“When it comes to financial advice, trust and personal touch are key if we expect individuals to take action,” Eric Jones, senior managing director of advisory solutions at TIAA-CREF, said in a news release.
The survey also found that 37 percent of respondents said they don’t like talking to anyone about their finances. In addition, two fifths think financial advice costs too much, 33 percent said they don’t have time to find proper financial advice and 58 percent say they would prefer to get financial advice from a single place.
Given the ambivalence of Americans toward money and finances, perhaps it’s no surprise that many people are behind in their retirement goals.
The survey also found that baby boomers -- people born between 1946 and 1964 -- were not only the most informed about retirement planning but also the most likely to act on retirement advice given to them.
A total of 85 percent said they are most likely to act on financial advice they receive some or most of the time, the survey found.
Members of Generation X, the group of Americans following behind boomers, are most likely to seek advice on retirement, the survey found. A total of 80 percent of those born between 1965 and 1984 who are seeking advice are looking for even more guidance on how to prepare for retirement.
Generation Y, adults younger than age 30, were most likely to say they were “little or not at all” informed about retirement planning. Gen Y has a longer time horizon before leaving the working world so they have more time to prepare.
Still, a total of 43 percent of Gen Yers said they lack adequate retirement planning information, the survey found.
KCR Research conducted the telephone survey of people 18 and older between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 of this year. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
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