Retirement Savers Report Roadblocks to Working with a Financial Advisor

Six of 10 participants don’t have one; OneAmerica® poll shows the gender gap is even worse

Indianapolis, September 25, 2018

Just 4 out of 10 retirement plan participants use a financial advisor, with misperceptions over affordability and applicability driving their hesitancy, according to a new OneAmerica® online survey.

“It appears that those participants who work with a financial advisor sleep better at night,” said Marsha Whitehead, OneAmerica vice president of enterprise marketing. “Our survey shows that those who work with a financial advisor also report having lower financial stress and higher knowledge on more retirement and financial-related topics. It is important for participants to understand this correlation and why working with a financial advisor, and having an advocate in their corner, may make financial sense.”

When asked why they weren’t working with a financial advisor, participants shared with OneAmerica the following roadblocks:

  • Concerned that they can’t afford fees (43 percent)
  • Belief that they don’t have enough wealth (41 percent)
  • They haven’t seriously considered the issue (41 percent)

Additionally, only 22 percent of women reported working with a financial advisor, compared to the 57 percent of men.  Survey results show that women are less likely to work with a financial advisor due to beliefs that they cannot afford the fees associated with a financial advisor and that they aren’t wealthy enough to work with a financial advisor. Inversely, of the men that don’t work with  a financial advisor, the survey finds that men choose not to reach out to a financial advisor because they don’t believe they need assistance, or because they are worried about potential misconduct.

The 40 percent of participants who reported working with a financial advisor is a 5 percent increase from a similar retirement survey OneAmerica conducted in 2013. And in the past five years, OneAmerica has seen the age of participants who work with a financial advisor trend lower. In 2013, participants who work with a financial advisor tended to be age 50 and older compared with the current study which shows that participants who work with a financial advisor tend to be age 35 and older.

“Research continues to show that participants who work with a financial advisor are more confident about their retirement preparation,” said Whitehead. “Prior OneAmerica research has identified that participants who work with a financial advisor are more likely to have calculated their retirement income need, are less likely to cite debt as a deterrent to contributing to their retirement plan, and appear to be more confident about their ability to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement.”

From Aug. 25, 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018, more than 12,200 of OneAmerica retirement plan participants responded to an online poll, sharing their thoughts on financial wellness, education and resource preferences, and potential roadblocks to retirement. The survey results provide insights into how retirement plan sponsors can work with participants to improve their financial wellness and overcome retirement planning hurdles.

“Assisting participants in understanding additional details about working with a financial advisor – items such as investment minimums and fees – may help clear up misconceptions they have,” said Melissa Musial, OneAmerica marketing research and data manager. “Finding a financial advisor that fits their specific needs and goals may be crucial in helping participants with retirement preparation and overall financial wellness.”

Want to know more about the OneAmerica Survey? Download a free infographic and whitepaper at

OneAmerica is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica. Products issued and underwritten by American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL), a OneAmerica company. Administrative and recordkeeping services provided by McCready and Keene, Inc. or OneAmerica Retirement Services LLC, companies of OneAmerica which are not broker/dealers or investment advisors. Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be relied upon as individualized tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice.


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About OneAmerica

A national leader in the insurance and financial services marketplace for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit

Tom Spalding, Public Relations Manager, 317-285-1461