Monday, April 4, 2011

CHICAGO (April 4, 2011) - Many middle-income Americans could be without adequate plans for retirement due to the tendency of the financial services industry to cater to wealthy Americans, according to a study conducted by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement SM (CSR).

The CSR's Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study, which focused on pre-retirees and retirees with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000, found that over half (51 percent) had not been contacted by any kind of retirement professional in the past 12 months. Further, 84 percent of the study participants who do work with a retirement professional said that they were the ones who had to initiate contact with the advisor.

"Most pre-retirees and retirees, regardless of income level, are concerned over whether or not they've planned adequately and saved enough to live comfortably in retirement," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, the national life and health insurer. "This concern is especially critical to middle-income Americans, more so than affluent retirees, because inadequate planning puts them at risk for not being able to maintain their standard of living during retirement."

Minimal outreach on the industry's part can negatively impact those who might otherwise benefit from a professional advisor's services. These individuals lose out on the benefits of learning about new products and services and having an objective third party to review and identify gaps in their retirement plan.

The financial services industry's lack of outreach shouldn't stop middle-income Americans from engaging the services of a professional advisor.

The study results show that finding an advisor can be well worth the effort. Two in three (68 percent) middle-income Americans who work with a professional feel better prepared for retirement than their peers, and 76 percent said they were extremely or very satisfied with their retirement professional.

The CSR says that retirement professionals are not just portfolio managers for the wealthiest retirees. Many products and services exist for people with virtually any level of income and assets that can help make your income last.

To locate a professional retirement advisor and learn more about retirement planning, visit your local library, senior center, or search online.

The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study was conducted in August of 2010 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. The complete report may be viewed at www.CenterForASecureRetirement.com

About the Center for a Secure Retirement
The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement is the company's research and consumer education organization. Its studies and consumer awareness campaigns provide insight and practical advice for how everyday Americans can achieve financial security during retirement.

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the insurance needs of the retirement market. The nationwide company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc., offers a broad portfolio of life and health insurance retirement products designed especially for seniors. Visit us online at www.bankers.com.


Barbara Ciesemier