Headlines you need to know this week
Clients worry about Social SecurityIn a recent survey, 67% of advisors reported that older clients were “moderately worried” about future benefit reductions in Social Security. At the same time, 54% of advisors said they were not worried about cuts to the program. In addition, 84% of advisors said that a 20% cut in benefits would impact their clients’ lifestyles.
College grads want to be their own bossRecent college graduates are focused on entrepreneurship, according to the American Institute of CPAs. The study found that 70% of graduates said they want to be their own boss and 53% said they would likely start their own business someday. About a half a million individuals become entrepreneurs each month, the report stated. About 80% are still in business after the first year, half make it five years, and one third are still viable in 10 years.
Business building takes a new approachFrom organizing travel adventures to reaching out to the next generation, financial advisors are adopting new approaches to building their client bases, according to an article in Financial Planning. A study from the Center for Generational Kinetics found that 74% of adults prioritize experiences over products. Some advisors plan exclusive travel experiences or educational programs for their clients. Others are focusing more resources on technology to offer more services to clients.
Women may be less prepared to retireOnly 62% of women have a financial plan to try to ensure they have enough money in retirement, compared with 76% of men, according to a recent survey. Women face unique challenges to saving including longevity, higher health-care costs, and a gender wage gap. These factors make it particularly important for women to focus on generating adequate income for retirement.
Congress considers ESG reportingThe House recently held its first hearings on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. The Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets reviewed proposals to improve ESG disclosures. The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment reported that assets under management using sustainable strategies grew to $12 trillion in 2018 from $8.7 trillion in 2016. Lawmakers are considering how to make disclosures more comprehensive and standardized.
If they could turn back time, Millennials say they would save moreThe biggest change that Millennials would make if they could go back to college would be to work and earn money while taking classes, a recent survey found. Nearly 20% of Millennials, ages 22 to 28, indicated that having a job might have helped to defray college costs. Many students graduate with debt. The College Board found that borrowers in 2017 had an average debt of $28,500.
DOL rule helps smaller businesses offer retirement plansSmaller businesses may find it easier to offer retirement plans to their employees under a new rule announced by the Department of Labor. The rule permits employers to connect with business associations or professional employer associations to offer workplace retirement savings plans. Businesses could join with associations in their local community, county, state or multi-state metro area. The rule takes effect September 30, 2019.
More parents expect children to pay for collegeAn increasing number of parents expect their children to help pay for college. In a recent survey, 38% of parents said they expect their children to be responsible for most of the bill, representing a 7% increase from a 2018 survey. Only 28% of parents said they would cover the entire cost, representing a 6% decline from a year ago.
Self-employed workers may be missing out on tax breaksA recent study found that only 40% of self-employed individuals expect that a portion of their retirement income will come from tax-advantaged savings. About one-third (31%) said they are saving for retirement with an individual retirement account and 21% are using a 401(k). Less than 10% are using a tax-advantaged account.
More women work with advisorsThe number of women working with a financial advisor rose 14% since 2016, according to a recent report. Still, women reported a less optimistic outlook about the economy and the market over the next 12 months compared with men. Women were also less likely than men to have a plan in place to protect their assets against market risk.
Technology can help advisors serve clientsAdvisors say that financial technology can strengthen their ability to serve clients and give them more time to focus on their business, a Harris Poll found. Among independent advisory firms, 58% of advisors said they plan to invest in new technology this year. Top reasons cited for adding technology include serving more clients (38%) and reducing manual workload (20%).
Client experience is key to competitivenessTo maintain competitiveness, advisors should focus on the client experience, according to a Cerulli report. The report recommends that advisors consider providing holistic financial planning and engage the next generation. Advisors may consider client segmentation and more personalized communications.
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