Investor Expectations Regarding Retirement Advice


 Planning your financial future involves much more than retirement finances such as income and savings.

Health care issues for both an investor and the investor’s family plays a large role in how well-prepared an investor is for his financial needs going forward.

Investors have expectations of their advisors related to their retirement needs, and it goes well beyond the need to create income streams post-work.

Spectrem’s study of investor and advisor relationships explains just how far expectations are extended for a financial advisor related to long-term needs. In Advisor Relationships and Changing Advice Requirements, investors are asked to name their services expectations from advisors, and many of them deal with long-term issues related to health and retirement.

“Age, wealth level and working status all affect the relationship between an investor and an advisor, and the relationship is often most severely tested when the topic of retirement and health care costs comes to mind,’’ said Spectrem president George H. Walper Jr. “While it makes sense for older investors to care about retirement topics, our research shows that some younger investors expect their advisor to take a look at the investor’s distant future as well.”

Financial advisors often serve the sole purpose of increasing portfolios, but some investors want a more full-service approach to investment and financial advice. It is surprising, therefore, to determine just how many investors get retirement planning advice from their advisor, because it is not a high percentage.

Among Millionaire investors with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million (not including primary residence), only 46 percent have received retirement planning advice from their primary advisor, while 8 percent say they will seek that advice in the future and 35 percent claim they don’t need it. Because Millionaires tend to average 60 years of age or older, many of them may already be in retirement and no longer need further advice regarding retirement.

Among Gen X and Millennial Millionaires, only 36 percent have received the advice from their advisor about retirement planning, while 23 percent plan to seek it out. That’s a significant percentage of relatively younger investors who plan to discuss retirement with their advisor someday.

Perhaps it is up to the advisor to make today that “someday”.

The percentage is higher among Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth up to $25 million, with 50 percent who have already planned for retirement. That includes 56 percent of Millennial and Gen X investors.

But, when looking ahead, investors have more to consider than their own retirement. Approximately half of Millionaire and UHNW investors believe an advisor should provide details about Long Term Care for themselves, including available and cost-effective plans which could be used by the investor or the investor’s spouse if needed.

More than 40 percent believe their financial advisor should be able to assist in planning for Elder Care to take care of the investor’s aging parents.

More than three-quarters of Millionaires and UHNW investors look at their financial advisor relationship as one that will last a lifetime. Seventy-nine percent of Millionaires and 76 percent of UHNW investors believe a financial advisor should provide investment and financial advice through the investor’s retirement years.

Top Takeaways for Advisors

Perhaps most advisors understand their clients view their working relationship as a lifelong pursuit. The research indicates that a majority of investors want to stay with their advisor not only up to retirement but well into that stage of their lives. Of course, advisors retire at some point, but they need to understand the long-term ramifications of their client relationships.


Spectrem research shows that health concerns are among the most troublesome issues, especially for investors with significant wealth for whom money matters are not often on their mind. Advisors should be able to speak about Long-Term Care and Elder Care, with an understanding that investors of all ages have reasons to consider one or both of those concerns.


©2017 Spectrem Group