Finances may not be the most uncomfortable topic, but they certainly make the list for many. People are wary about revealing how much money they have, and, in some cases, they don't want to admit what they may not know.
It's encouraging, however, that desire for financial advice has been rising, according to the Retirement Savings and Spending 4: Behaviors and Attitudes toward Financial Advice survey, conducted this year by T. Rowe Price. What's less encouraging is that 60% of the 3,005 survey respondents aren't receiving financial advice, with 43% citing cost as the reason.
What types of advice are wanted?
The survey was conducted among people who were at least 21, had not yet retired, were eligible to contribute to a 401(k) plan, and had an account balance of at least $1,000. The number of people who wanted advice increased over last year across five of the six top financial objectives, with the sixth staying the same.
The top three areas where respondents wanted financial advice were all related to retirement. They were "saving for retirement outside of your workplace plan" (74%), "saving to fund health care expenses in retirement" (74%), and "saving for retirement through current workplace plans" (71%).
Where is advice coming from?
It's not surprising that most respondents (64%) across all generations rely on their 401(k) provider "a great deal" or "somewhat" for retirement-related advice. Millennials are the most likely (68%) to turn to their 401(k) provider, while 66% of gen-Xers and 55% of baby boomers do the same.
"As individuals juggle many financial goals, their need for financial advice has grown and we see many turning to their retirement provider for that guidance," said T. Rowe Price head of retirement services Aimee DeCamillo in a press release. "The availability of financial wellness programs alongside a retirement plan is more important than ever. Employers can support this growing need by offering access to educational resources, greatly influencing not just the retirement readiness of their employees but their overall financial health as well."
Retirement was not the only area where people wanted financial help. Other top areas included:
- Reducing debt (63%)
- Saving for emergencies (65%)
- Managing and budgeting day-to-day expenses (56%)
What can you do?
If you want help -- seek it out. You can start by taking advantage of the large amount of high-quality retirement content available from sources like The Motley Fool. That, however, is only a start -- a way to give yourself a better knowledge base to build on. It makes sense to get professional help. Your company's 401(k) plan provider may offer some level of planning, advice, and counseling.
Take advantage of that, but also consider getting help from a certified financial planner (CFP). This is a trained professional who helps you make a plan to meet your financial needs. To find the right CFP, ask people you know about theirs, and feel free to meet with more than one in order to find the right fit.
If you want more financial advice to help you meet your retirement goals -- you need to go out and get it. Educate yourself and make sure you have the right people advising you to get on track toward meeting your goals.