If you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice about your finances, what would you say? That’s what a recent survey of more than 1,100 U.S. retirees by the Employee Benefits Research Institute aimed to find out.
The main takeaways aren’t overwhelmingly surprising, but they are important to discuss: 70% of respondents would have advised their younger selves to change their financial habits so they could save and invest more. And, knowing what they know today, almost half of survey respondents said they wish they’d started planning for retirement earlier.
Those sentiments align with conversations our advisory team members have with individuals and families year in and year out. Often, it takes people until they’re getting closer to retirement to realize just how valuable a slow and steady approach can be, including how consistent contributions to investment accounts combined with compounding are extremely powerful ingredients to build a strong portfolio over time.
The survey also reinforces the value a financial advisor can provide in the planning process. The results show “approximately 9 in 10 retirees who used a financial advice professional to create a financial plan were satisfied with their financial professional and felt the value they received from using an advisor outweighed the cost.” Among those who did not work with a financial advisor on a plan, nearly half decided in retrospect that it would have been helpful to talk with a professional before retiring.
Retirees also relayed the financial “fear of the unknown,” which exists both before and after retirement. More than half of retirees cited inflation as the most common financial concern in retirement followed by emergency and preventative medical expenses. While there are many unknowns that can affect your financial future, a financial planner can bring light to some of these areas you might otherwise overlook.
Overall, the survey’s results affirm our team’s philosophy and approach to building wealth over the long term: It’s never too early to discuss and plan for your retirement. Time and a trusted financial advisor can be your staunchest allies as you work to create a strong financial future.
With offices in Minneapolis, Duluth, and Bonita Springs, Florida, JNBA Financial Advisors is an independent fee-only wealth management firm driven to help guide people through life’s most important decisions through an advice driven by advocacy® approach. Please see important disclosure information at jnba.com/disclosure.