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COVID Has Older Americans More Open to Financial Advice


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on how Americans are thinking about their finances. According to a recent study from Global Atlantic Financial Group, one trend is that retirement age investors are more likely than they were before the pandemic to be open to financial advice. If you’re interested in getting help from a financial professional, SmartAsset’s free matching service could connect you with up to three local advisors.

Financial Advice Popularity Increases

Global Financial surveyed retirement age investors – those between 59 and 75 – with more than $250,000 in investable assets. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (64%) said they are more open to financial advice than they were before the pandemic hit last year. And more than half (51%) of those who already use a financial professional said they had spoken to their advisor about how to operate in the current low interest-rate environment.

“Those on the cusp of retirement are paying close attention to economic issues such as inflation and low interest rates, and they recognize that it might be a good time to revisit their retirement strategies,” said Paula Nelson, co-head of individual markets at Global Atlantic. “Thankfully, they are very receptive to advice from financial professionals, and our research has indicated that they are ready to have these conversations.”

Just over seven out of 10 participants (73%) in the study said that rising inflation will impact their retirement savings negatively, and 46% of those with fixed income investments worry that low interest rates could hurt their retirement income. Additionally, 46% said that both low interest rates and rising inflation could make retirement income streams more unsustainable.

The pandemic has also extended this trepidation to investors and other Americans in different aspects of their lives. Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (73%) are worried about the impact that a COVID resurgence could have on the stock market, and 56% are worried about a negative impact on their retirement savings. The study also shows that almost three out of every five investors (57%) are worried about the impact that a resurgence could have on their personal life.

How a Financial Advisor Can Help You

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Whether you’re nearing retirement age or still young and looking at a few decades of work, a financial advisor can provide you with all kinds of help in making sure your money is set up for the future.

Here are four essential services that a financial advisor can offer you:

  • Create an investment plan. A financial advisor can help you figure out not only what investments you need right now, but how your asset allocation should change through the years.
  • Insurance planning. Life insurance can be an important part of the financial planning process. A separate study from Global Atlantic Financial Group shows that only 33% of participants believe they have enough life insurance or other assets to protect their family in the event of their own death. A financial advisor could help you decide how much life insurance you need and what type of policy is best for you.
  • Education planning. If you have children you want to send to college, a financial advisor can help you save money so that you’ll be able to pay for it.
  • Estate planning. Someday, you’ll die and want to make sure your assets are passed on to your children and family. An advisor can get all of your documents in place, including setting up any trusts that are needed.

Bottom Line

COVID-19 has made professional financial advice a priority for many people near retirement age. The pandemic has also increased investor interest in learning how to deal with the current financial environment of low interest rate and rising inflation. And a financial advisor can help with any number of financial issues regardless of age, whether you are nearing retirement or simply starting to plan early.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

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  • As we noted above, a financial advisor can help with all sorts of financial issues, from retirement to estate planning. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Even if you’re using a financial advisor, knowing for yourself how much money you investments may earn you is important. SmartAsset’s investment calculator can give you a sense of what you’ll be looking at down the road.

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