Most households with between $100,000 and $500,000 in investable assets do not have a retirement income plan and have not worked with a financial advisor, presenting a “sweet spot” for asset managers, according to findings from a Cerulli Associates retirement report released on Wednesday.

Of these currently retired households asked to describe their pre-retirement planning activities, 90% had not worked with an advisor and 80% had not developed a formal retirement income plan, the report showed. Cash flow management, specifically getting debt under control, was the top priority for 25% of households in this asset range.

While the lack of planning indicates that many of these households nearing retirement may be unprepared for their retirement years, for the financial services industry it represents a sweet spot, according to the report.

“The silver lining is that this represents a great opportunity for asset managers, broker/dealers, and retirement plan providers to increase retirement income planning education, guidance many investors will welcome. This lack of planning can result in rollover opportunities after retirement,” Alessandra Hobler, analyst at Cerulli, said in a statement.

In contrast, households with $500,000 to $2 million in investable assets were more likely to be prepared for retirement than households in the lower asset range. Of households in the upper bracket, 36% indicated they had a formal retirement income plan and 39% said they worked with a current advisor to better diversify assets.

Investors in their late fifties represent another sweet spot for asset managers and plan providers to focus on for retirement income needs, according to the report.

While 41% of pre-retiree investors in their fifties reported that they hadn’t gotten around to working with an advisor, retired investors in their sixties were likely to report that they did not need retirement advice. This leaves a window of opportunity for asset managers to build retirement income relationships with pre-retiree investors who are not yet working with an advisor, according to the report.

For advisors, the two greatest obstacles to providing retirement income advice were the lack of consumer awareness (17%) and how time-consuming it is (10%). As such, asset managers should work to communicate to advisors how retirement income products can fit into the planning they are already doing, the report states.

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