The 2017 MFS Heritage Planning Survey shows two-thirds of
investors have identified rising healthcare costs as one of their top concerns
over the next three years.
And there are other widespread causes of anxiety, according
to MFS. Approximately half of the investors surveyed identified the U.S.
federal deficit, Social Security benefits and volatility in the stock market
among their top concerns.
Older investors are particularly concerned about rising
healthcare costs, with more than three-quarters indicating they are either “very”
or “extremely concerned” about this topic. Millennials and Generation X investors
are “more focused on saving enough for retirement, with more than two-thirds of
respondents in both groups indicating a high level of concern.”
Jim Jessee, co-head of global distribution with MFS, observes
that six in 10 investors have delayed or will delay a major life event due to
their current financial situation.
"Clearly, the barrage of headlines surrounding the
recent U.S. elections and the Affordable Care Act has left many investors
unnerved,” Jessee says. “And although these are real concerns, they
aren't insurmountable. Financial advisers can add a lot of value by talking to
their clients about the things that keep them up at night and helping them get
their financial houses in order.”
The research suggests Generation X is especially well suited
for one-on-one financial advice.
“Generation X investors are relatively pessimistic about
their financial future,” MFS reports. “Just one-third of Generation X investors
are confident in their ability to address financial concerns and meet their
long-term financial goals—the lowest among all generations surveyed.”
MFS Director of Business Development Doug Orton, observes
this group simply hasn’t saved enough to feel confident, “and unlike many of
their parents, they don't have pensions or defined benefit plans to fall back
“They are desperately looking for guidance,” he adds. “In
fact, 85% of Generation X investors surveyed said they look to their financial
adviser for retirement savings advice and approximately 60% say they will rely
on their adviser more in the coming years.”
Like Generation X, MFS finds Millennials are “also pushing
out significant family and career milestones,” due in large part to financial
uncertainty. Still, Millennials are fairly optimistic about the future. Seven
in 10 believe their financial situation will improve over the next three years
and roughly half of those surveyed are confident in their ability to meet their
long-term financial goals.