More than one-third of people who invest in IRAs, plan to use them as investment vehicles to bequeath money to their children or other heirs, according to a survey by American Skandia Life Assurance of Shelton, Conn.

Thirty-four percent of investors in IRAs, view them as estate-planning rather than retirement savings vehicles, according to the survey of 200 retail investors. American Skandia conducted the survey online at its website in mid-February.

American Skandia, a load firm that distributes its funds exclusively through financial planners and other third parties, wants to learn more about investor expectations and goals, directly from investors, a company spokesperson said.

The fact that one-third of all investors intend to use their IRAs for estate planning rather than for their own retirement - a sounder use of IRAs and Roth IRAs because of their tax structures, according to the company - shows a continuing need among investors for financial advice, the spokesperson said. This reaffirms the firm's distribution structure and may prompt the firm to provide financial planners with whom it works with tax-savings information on IRAs and Roth IRAs, the spokesperson said.

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