What seniors are saying: Do you agree?

Doug Horn

During April and May, Senior Market Advisor conducted a survey which they released in their July publication. One third of the respondents say they seek the advice of others when it comes to their finances. Half turn to family members and friends while only 47 percent say they would use a financial advisor.

An overwhelming majority of seniors in the survey responded that “health” is now more important than “wealth,” in fact 91 percent. While it is important, 68 percent responded they would not discuss health issues with their financial advisor and don’t want to. However, if their health or healthcare was discussed, most said discussions about long term care insurance and the actual financial impact of the new health care legislation would be the most important conversations.

When asked how they plan to pay for their long term care, 21 percent advised they would dip into investments including retirement accounts, 19 percent thought Medicare or Medicaid would pay for their care while another 18 percent responded they had long term care insurance.

When the topic was the economy or their retirement plans, most of the seniors were not without their opinions. More than half thought it could be longer than a decade before the national economy improves. A slightly larger group either believes America is in bad shape or they are worried sick. Many believe it is going to be a very long haul before their personal financial situation improves. Barely half believe they are very confident or somewhat confident they have made the right retirement-planning decisions. Those not yet retired are the least confident about their retirement-planning decisions, 62 percent. And those already retired, only 39 percent are not confident about their retirement decisions.

The results of the survey are not unexpected. The decade ending December 31, 2009, was the first in many years to lose value in the equity market. A financial crisis in such breadth and proportion that comparisons to the Great Depression were often made. And now, with the expansion in the size of government and “reform(?)” legislation being put into law or in the pipeline, our government may become too large to feed with the available tax dollars. Thus, tax increases both apparent and hidden may be forthcoming.

While bull markets always follow bear markets, one must have something left to participate in the bull market. Charles Evans, Chicago Federal Reserve President, recently stated he is still expecting the U.S. economy to grow by 3 to 3.5 percent for this year. Since this recovery is modest, the current and upcoming data reflecting the economy will not always portray the strength economists would like to see. As a result, the market will continue with the volatility that we have come to expect in recent months.

Keeping in mind the long term objective, should permit most investors to weather this recovery period.

For assistance with insurance, estate planning, and investment management, contact me at Quality Financial Concepts or one of the other Certified Financial Planners in our area. To continue a personal quest for education, you can also view our learning center on our website, www.goqfc.com. There you will find articles on a variety of topics, on-line seminars, calculators, as well as a host of other free tools.

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