Americans Willing to Pay For Oil Changes, Not Financial Advice

By Andrew Rickard | October 16 2014 07:02AM

According to a recent survey conducted by the US investment brokerage firm Charles Schwab, Americans are three times more likely to ask for help changing their motor oil than they are for help managing their retirement savings.

The survey revealed that 87% of workers in the United States would hire someone to change their car’s oil while only 24% would get help to figure out their 401(k) investments. LIMRA, an industry research organization, has followed up on Schwab’s findings and suggested several reasons to explain why so few pre-retirees are willing to seek professional financial advice.

"Earlier LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research found when pre-retirees with household assets of at least $100,000 were asked for reasons why they don’t seek professional financial advice, 10% said they didn’t have enough money to do so," says LIMRA in a note on its web site. "Slightly more than half (53%) said they could do just as well or better on their own, and another 48% said they didn’t want to pay the fees associated with professional advice." (LIMRA notes that respondents to its survey were able to give more than one reason.)

In light of the survey results, LIMRA recommends that insurers reach out to retirement plan sponsors and make sure that participants are aware of the services they offer, such as retirement planning advice. "No matter what form the communication takes, if people act on good advice they get better results," concludes LIMRA. "Who knows? Advice on retirement savings could make good reading material while waiting to get the oil changed."