Yes, retired investors are older than working investors, on average, and because they are older, they are less comfortable with modern modes of communication, including social media.
But the internet has been around for 20 years, and many retirees today were among the first to use the Worldwide Web long ago. They may be old, but they are not unaware of what is out there to be used to communicate with advisors and gather financial information.
According to Spectrem’s study Wealthy Investors and the Use of Digital Tools, retired investors do employ electronic outlets on occasion, but don’t make a habit of it, with the possible exception of the very popular tool known as texting.
“All of our research compares working investors to those investors who have retired, because retirement does impact an investor’s attitudes and behaviors and advisors need to understand that,’’ said Spectrem president George H. Walper Jr. “But one of the strongest messages our research provides is that retired investors do not disappear. They have their own way of conducting business.”
The research shows that retired investors do not use social media for communication, even as advisors expand their use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Retired investors much prefer the standard communication mode of e-mail, which 68 percent of retired investors use to communicate with their advisor.
But a growing percentage of investors past their working days are very busy texting their advisor. Fifteen percent of retired investors say they text their financial advisor, and approximately 10 percent text their advisor on a monthly basis if not more frequently. For comparison, 21 percent of retired investors speak to their advisor by voice on a monthly basis, and 18 percent e-mail their advisor in that time period.
Another digital service retired investors use is video presentations on financial topics. Almost 30 percent of retired investors say they regularly watch financial videos, and one key behavior for advisors to understand is that retired investors are more likely (63 percent) than working investors to go to the website of their financial advisor to view such videos.
People engulfed in the digital world believe that electronic communication and business processes will someday completely erase the need for physical interaction. The same belief extends to paperwork, with many companies and individuals keeping their key records in the “cloud", the extended digital safekeeping platform.
Even among some retired investors, there is a preference for digital record-keeping. Thirty-eight percent of retired investors prefer to get their financial statements online versus receiving hard copies (among working investors, 50 percent prefer online records).
©2019 Spectrem Group