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U.S. Retirement Security Gets Even Worse

August 3, 2017

The U.S. has dropped three places to No. 17 for retirement security among 43 developed nations, despite having the fifth highest per-capita income, according to the most recent survey by Natixis Global Asset Management.

The survey – which assesses factors such as finances, health and quality of life – found Americans’ retirement security lags behind such countries as Norway – which came in first place for the second year in a row – and Canada, Finland, Ireland and the Czech Republic. The U.S. had the sixth-lowest score for income equality in the index’s material wellbeing category, suggesting millions of Americans may not be saving enough for retirement, Natixis says.

And while the U.S. ranks among the top 10 in finances, it also has a growing ratio of retirees to employment-age adults, which is squeezing government support programs such as Social Security and Medicare, according to the survey.

Moreover, while the U.S. spends more than any other country on healthcare, that spending isn’t necessarily materializing in better health: Americans placed 30th in terms of life expectancy, for example, according to Natixis. Meanwhile, surveying American retirees also revealed that they’re unhappier and their quality of life has dropped slightly since the 2016 survey, Natixis says.

Financial advisors certainly have a role to play when it comes to the financial aspect of their clients’ retirement, Robert Laura writes in Financial Advisor magazine. But advisors also need to ensure their clients are truly happy in non-financial terms, according to Laura, president of SYNERGOS Financial Group.

Clients often use a “lawn and front porch” approach, putting on a happy image for the public while frequently hiding real problems, he writes. Advisors need to learn about their clients’ real concerns, which means building their soft skills and taking the time to get to know their clients, according to Laura. After all, that’s what can set them apart from low-cost financial services providers and robo-advisors, he writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Financial Advisor Magazine article cited in this story, click here.