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professional retirement helpA survey conducted after the 2008–09 recession found that nine out of 10 people aged 50 to 70 had experienced at least one “derailer” that knocked them off the track to retirement. Although the broader economy played a part, many challenges were more personal. Some described starting late, balancing college and retirement savings, and experiencing a traumatic event.1

Study Reveals Most Don’t Ask For Help

A recent industry study found that 17% of retirement plan participants did not seek any retirement advice at all. The most common source of advice — cited by 29% of plan participants — was the official information provided by their retirement plan providers.2 This may be a good place to start, but such information is typically broad and impersonal, aimed at the group rather than tailored to individual circumstances.

There is also a seemingly endless stream of information available online. Some of it can be useful, yes. But you have to be careful when listening to self-appointed “experts”. They may or may not have the appropriate experience for the opinions they express. And online information is also aimed at the crowd.

Where Do People Turn For Personal Advice?

So where do people turn for more personal advice? The study revealed a clear generational divide. Younger Americans tend to ask family, friends, and colleagues However, older Americans who are closer to retirement or already retired are more likely to work with a retirement professional.

On one level, it makes sense that younger people might turn to those they already trust rather than establish a new relationship with a retirement professional. But considering the long road ahead, it might be just as important to take advantage of professional insight earlier in one’s career. In a survey of baby boomers, 86% who worked with a financial advisor said they were better prepared for retirement because of the help they received.3 Even if retirement is still in the distance, why not take a tip from the boomers and establish a solid, well-considered foundation now? That way, you can progress more confidently toward your long-term goals. If you’re closer to retirement or already there, you may have an even more immediate need for guidance.

What Do YOU Get From A Retirement Professional?

There is no assurance that working with a retirement professional will improve you nest egg results. But by focusing on your overall objectives, a professional can help you greatly. They provide education, identify strategies for taking control of many financial situations, and help you consider options that could have a substantial effect on your long-term financial situation.

1) BusinessInsider.com, May 16, 2013 (most current data available)
2) ThinkAdvisor.com, July 23, 2015
3) Insured Retirement Institute, April 13, 2015

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

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