BlackRock adviser survey shows retirement anxieties

A population with greater longevity presents an opportunity for advisers, according to BlackRock’s global investor pulse adviser survey.

According to the research, 32 per cent of advisers identify living longer among the top five greatest risks to financial futures.

This ranked along with the state of the global economy, volatility of stock markets, changes in inflation and changes in interest rates.

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The survey canvassed views and experiences of 101 UK advisers through fieldwork conducted by telephone from 24 August to 16 September 2013.

While all the other areas are factors that advisers and clients alike must react to, increased life expectancies are something that can be managed with the correct advice and planning.

The survey also found that although advisers’ clients in the UK have taken on more risk over the past year, investors are still risk-averse to a problematic level.

“The consumer is still paralysed with fear and will not take any risks with their money,” said Alex Hoctor-Duncan, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa retail at BlackRock.

Greater life expectancy also revealed itself as a source of anxiety when investors were asked what they perceived to be the greatest risks to financial futures, with the second most popular answer being clients having to spend more than they earn.

“An adviser can help you plan for living longer. It means advisers are connecting with the issues their clients are worried about. I think there’s opportunity here,” said Mr Hoctor-Duncan. “I think there’s a huge opportunity for the advice model, and it’s an endorsement of the advice model for the future.”

One of the biggest problems the survey identified was the gulf between what investors are expecting to retire on and how much their savings will actually allow them to have. “There is a complete miss from consumers in how much money they need to generate anything like what they’re expecting in retirement,” he said.