More than three-fourths of pre-retirees haven’t even calculated how much money they’ll need in retirement, according to the Four Pillars of the New Retirement study we conducted with Age Wave.
That’s a staggering statistic, especially when today, Aug. 14, we observe National Financial Awareness Day.
The study also found that 68% of pre-retirees say they have no idea what their health and long-term care costs may be in retirement, while another 56% of retirees wish they had budgeted more for unexpected expenses in retirement.
There’s clearly a knowledge gap out there – and it’s our duty as members of the financial services industry to address it.
Raising investors’ financial awareness is an ongoing – and essential – service. The greater our clients’ understanding of their financial picture, the greater our ability to communicate and connect with them, and the better we’ll be able to completely serve their present and future needs.
The more we understand what’s important to our clients, the better we’ll be at co-developing both a short- and a long-term strategy to help them accomplish their goals.
Our clients look to us for knowledge – and many want their financial advisor to help connect their financial well-being with their sense of purpose.
In fact, the Four Pillars study found that people interested in working with a financial professional say that the ideal role of a financial advisor is to act as a financial guide –someone who understands their goals and helps to achieve them.
With millennials looking for purpose in their careers – 68% wanting to be known for making a positive difference in the world – I can think of no better profession than financial advising to help the next generation.
And what we know from our work, is the younger people are when they gain financial acumen, the better off they’ll be later in life.
That’s why the Edward Jones Financial Fitness program is so important. Together with our partners at SIFMA Foundation and EverFi, we help students and young adults learn how to make smart financial choices that will benefit them throughout their lifetimes.
And we do this in three ways – 1) through online learning with high school students that measures the impact of their financial knowledge and confidence gains, 2) community-based programs where our financial advisors serve as mentors and role models for students and teachers, and 3) online resources for our clients, colleagues and their families.
National Financial Awareness Day is just that – one day. But working together with national and local partners, schools, teachers, students and young adults has taught us that we can build financial resilience for the next generation.