It's no surprise that most Americans handle their own financial planning: A new study from Northwestern Mutual found that 69 percent of U.S. adults took a self-directed approach to planning. But those people don't seem to be doing a great job. Only 40 percent of respondents said they had set goals for their financial future, and a mere 12 percent had written a financial plan.
Thirty percent said they were “not at all financially prepared” to live to age 75, and more than a third had no idea of how much income they might need in retirement. Nearly two-thirds of working respondents said they expected to have to delay their retirement, mainly because of insufficient savings.
The responses from those who work with a financial advisor were very different. Sixty-eight percent of them said they felt “very financially secure,” compared with 35 percent of those without an advisor. And 79 percent of working respondents with an advisor expected to be happy in retirement, while just 65 percent of those without an advisor had that expectation.