Looking for a retirement edge? Get a financial advisor.

According to a report published by Empower Institute, retirement savers looking for an edge in achieving lifetime income security would be well advised to seek out an advisor.

The survey included roughly equal numbers of men and women, ranging in ages from 18 to 65. The educational level spanned the spectrum from high school to graduate school.

The study provides a Lifetime Income Score (LSI) and measures the impact of various factors including the use of an advisor, the use of planning tools and the savings rate

An LSI of 100 means that the retiree has replaced 100% of his or her pre-retirement income. Scoring under 100 means that your retirement income is less than your pre-retirement income. Over 100 means that your retirement income exceeds your pre-retirement income.

People who work with a paid advisor have a nearly 30 percentage point advantage in their “lifetime income score” (LIS) over those not currently receiving professional advice. Additionally, people with an LIS of 100 or more are three times more likely to be working with an advisor than those with an LIS less than 45.

The report, based on a survey of more than 4,000 respondents … found that with a formal, written action plan in place, LIS results improve significantly. The data show that people with a documented strategy are on track for a much higher LIS, and clearly advisors also play a key role in the development of a retirement planning strategy.

That rate at which individuals save has a major impact on their retirement income. Retirement savers who put away 10% or more are on track for an LSI of 106.

In addition to creating a plan and tracking how families are doing versus their goals, advisors help client make wise choices about ways to increase savings without impacting lifestyle. Advisors provide planning services which people without advisors often skip. When it comes time to apply for Social Security benefits, financial advisors can advise their clients on strategies that maximize their lifetime income.

The bottom line is that using a financial advisor as part of your pre-retirement strategy is a wise investment in your future.

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