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After two years of pandemic, Americans place high value on bespoke financial strategies

Allianz Life research finds better preparedness among those working with a finance professional, but there remains an opportunity for finpros to help with life stage-specific planning and security strategy social

Main findings:

  • 93% of Americans said setting financial goals and developing a plan to achieve them is important to support their future ambitions; 86% cite the benefits of working with a finance professional

  • 44% of respondents said making sure they have enough money to last them a lifetime is one of the most important things finance professionals can do to help

  • 59% of near-retirees say they plan to work past the current Social Security retirement age; only 11% of current retirees have done so

MINNEAPOLIS, June 21, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Americans continue to manage their finances during the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, financial planning with the help of a professional is helping them feel more confident about the future.

More than nine in 10 respondents (93%) said setting financial goals and developing a plan to achieve them is important to help them support their future ambitions, and 86% cite the benefits of working with a financial professional, according to the new 2022 Retirement Risk Readiness Study* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life).

As a result, those who already work with a financial professional feel much better prepared to manage a number of potential retirement risks, including saving enough, having a retirement income plan, and dealing with the rising cost of retirement. life :

Work with finpro

Never had finpro

Save enough in a retirement account



Finding a balance between saving for retirement and spending to enjoy life now



Have a plan to receive retirement income



Have a plan to deal with the rising cost of living



Diversify your retirement savings to protect your savings



Make investments less risky



Investigate the expenses and risks associated with retirement



Buy a financial product that offers a guaranteed source of retirement income



“So many Americans are in a vulnerable position with their finances right now, it’s encouraging to see the high value placed not only on the practice of financial planning, but also on the advice of a financial professional,” Kelly said. LaVigne, Vice President of Consumer Perspectives, Allianz Life. “The pandemic has changed a lot of expectations around finances and creating a retirement strategy, so now is a good time for finance professionals to understand, adapt and meet clients where they are. are found.”

Opportunity to assist with life stage-specific planning

The 2022 Retirement Risk Preparedness Study polled three categories of Americans to get different perspectives on retirement: pre-retirees (those 10 years or more from retirement); near-retirees (those less than 10 years from retirement); and those who are already retired.

Regardless of the stage in life, people want to make sure they have enough money to last them their whole life. More than four in 10 respondents (44%) said making sure they have enough money is one of the most important things finance professionals can do to help them. Still, the 2022 study identified several areas where these different groups of Americans seek specific help based on how close they are to retirement.

Retirees want their finance professional to:

  • Maximize return on investment: 56% vs. 38% near-retirees and 43% pre-retirees

  • Protecting investments against market losses: 45% compared to 39% near-retirees and 32% pre-retirees

  • Minimize the tax burden: 43% versus 36% of near-retirees and 31% of pre-retirees

Near-retirees are more interested in getting help with:

  • Maximize their social security benefits at retirement: 34% compared to 27% of pre-retirees and 25% of retirees

  • Making the best decisions about Medicare and health insurance: 30% vs. 23% pre-retirees and 22% retirees

Pre-retirees are more likely than others to want help from their financial professional to:

  • Securing the financial future of their children: 35% vs. 23% near-retirees and 13% retirees

  • Balance their budget to save for later while enjoying life now: 33% vs. 25% of near-retirees and 26% of retirees

  • Debt repayment: 27% vs. 19% near-retirees and 16% retirees

Pre-retirees also expect a different level of engagement with their finance professional, both in terms of service and strategy. A higher percentage of near-retirees expect their finpro to be tech-savvy, offering interactive tools to understand finances in a variety of scenarios (58% vs. 48% of near-retirees and 37% of retirees) and flexible with meeting options, including virtual meetings, to meet their needs (50% vs. 43% near-retirees and 48% retirees). Additionally, more pre-retirees are interested in exploring a non-traditional life path where they can try different things at different times instead of following the traditional school-work-retirement path (54% vs. 48% of near-retirees and 36% retirees).

Social Security Misconceptions Persist

One area where many Americans continue to struggle is with their Social Security strategy. Although most think they have a good plan for when they start taking Social Security benefits and a clear understanding of the role it will play in their overall retirement finances, the study results show that expectations are different from reality.

About six in ten near-retirees (59%) say they plan to work past the current Social Security retirement age. However, only one in ten (11%) current retirees have done so. In addition, more than half of near-retirees (57%) expect to receive benefits at full retirement age or to defer to a later age, while only four in ten retirees (46 %) did. Moreover, only a third (33%) of near-retirees plan to collect Social Security benefits before full retirement age, when in fact almost half (49%) of current retirees had to take their benefits earlier, which limits their maximum benefit.

These misconceptions extend to expectations about the role Social Security will play in their overall retirement income strategy. More close retirees (40%) and pre-retirees (35%) believe that people will receive enough Social Security to support themselves in retirement; only 10% of retirees said this was true.

“A mistake in calculating your dependency on Social Security benefits can have a detrimental effect on your financial health throughout retirement,” LaVigne added. “Finance professionals have the tools to help people make informed decisions on a number of complex topics, including social security strategy, so their clients have a better chance of avoiding the pitfalls that can result. from a lack of planning. Keep in mind that financial professionals can offer information about Social Security benefits, but generally cannot offer personalized advice.

*Allianz Life conducted an online survey, the 2022 Retirement Risk Readiness Study, in February 2022 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people aged 25 and over in the contiguous United States with an annual household income of 50 $000+ (single) / $75,000+ (married/partnership) OR $150,000 investable assets.

This content is for general educational purposes only. However, it is not intended to provide fiduciary, tax or legal advice and may not be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, its affiliates and their representatives and employees do not provide fiduciary, tax, legal or social security or health insurance advice. Clients are encouraged to consult their tax advisor, attorney, or the office of the Social Security Administration (SSA) for their particular situation.

About Allianz Life Assurance Company of North America

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® and one of the Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical Companies®, has delivered since 1896 in helping Americans achieve their retirement income goals and protection with a variety of annuity and life insurance products. In 2021, Allianz Life provided additional value to its policyholders through distributions of over $10.6 billion. As the leading provider of fixed index annuities, registered indexed annuities and fixed index universal life insurance, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with approximately 150,000 employees in over from 70 countries. Allianz Life is a proud sponsor of Allianz Field® in St. Paul, Minnesota, home of Minnesota United of Major League Soccer.

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Jeff Faust
[email protected]
(612) 670-8971