This is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting results from our Wells Fargo Retirement Study. Our 2010 Retirement Study was conducted to better understand the impact that the current economic environment has had on middle class Americans ranging in age from their mid-20s to their late 60s.
In my last post we looked at the role the recession has played in changing attitudes about saving and investing. Americans are still feeling the impact of the economic recession and continue to have concerns about re-entering the stock market.
When survey respondents were asked if they would find financial advice on retirement planning and investing valuable, at least three-quarters of respondents indicated they would. But few are willing to pay for it.
Two-thirds of Americans (65%) admit they should be saving more and probably could if they made changes or had some help. The vast majority agree that financial advice on retirement would be valuable to them. But when asked, less than one-third say they would be willing to pay a reasonable fee in order to receive help determining how much to save, guidance on managing their investments, and assistance monitoring their retirement accounts.
While those results may sound contradictory, I think the disconnect between valuing advice and a willingness to pay for it is not all that uncommon. Many people greatly value the medical advice they receive, but may not be quite as thrilled when the bill arrives. And few people I know are smiling ear-to-ear when writing a check for legal advice received, no matter how valuable. Maybe the difference is that we're simply used to the fact that advice in certain professions, like medicine and legal services aren't free. It's interesting though that people expect to pay an accountant for tax advice but don't want to pay a financial advisor for investment advice.
What's your opinion? Would you pay a reasonable fee for financial and investment advice? Why or why not?