Many middle-income Americans who plan for retirement without the help of a financial advisor spend too little time on the task, according to authors of a new study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Co. Center for a Secure Retirement.
The study found that of the 54 percent of survey respondents who aren't receiving professional guidance, 63 percent devote less than one hour a month to retirement planning, and more than 36 percent spend no time at all.
About two-fifths, meanwhile, mistakenly assume they don't have enough assets to warrant an advisor, and 20 percent did not know the minimum amount required. The remaining respondents said they thought at least $200,000 in assets was needed to secure an advisor's services.
However, 10 out of 10 national financial and insurance companies contacted by the study team indicated that they would discuss retirement planning with anyone having as little as $2,500 or less.
The survey also uncovered misunderstandings about accessibility and the cost of professional advice. Twenty-three percent of respondents felt they wouldn't be able to afford an advisor's services, but 32 percent of the group didn't know how much the services cost.
"It's these misconceptions that are preventing people from getting the retirement guidance they may need," Bankers Life and Casualty Co. President Scott Perry said in a statement. "We encourage everyone approaching retirement to put careful thought into their preparations, whether it's spending the time necessary to thoroughly research on their own or working with a trusted advisor to determine a plan that fits their specific needs and gives them a high level of comfort when thinking about their future."