New Research Shows that Educators Working with Financial Professionals Experience Better Financial Outcomes
Benefits include higher account balances, greater confidence in meeting retirement goals and better investment decision-making
December 1, 2022
NEW YORK – December 1, 2022 - According to new research conducted on behalf of Equitable, a leading financial services organization and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), K-12 educators who work with financial professionals to help them with their supplemental employer-sponsored retirement plans not only achieve better outcomes, but report greater levels of engagement with their retirement plans, and greater investment confidence and knowledge.
The findings are based on a survey of 1,001 K-12 educators commissioned by Equitable and conducted by market research firm Zeldis Research Associates. The survey included educators that participate in a 403(b) plan — with and without a financial advisor — as well as those who do not participate. The sample of K-12 403(b) plan participants are nationally representative of age, region and gender.
The research, “The Value of the Advisor: Their Impact on Financial Outcomes for K-12 educators,” also finds a broad array of emotional benefits from working with financial professionals, including higher satisfaction and fewer concerns about inflation and retirement savings overall.
Key findings from the research include:
- Higher savings: Those working with a financial professional have a higher median account balance of $48,000, compared to $39,000 among those surveyed who do not work with a financial professional. In addition, educators who work with a financial professional have higher average annual contributions ($9,000 versus $5,300) and increase their contributions more frequently. More than seven in 10 believe they contribute more and started contributing earlier because of a financial professional.
- Increased confidence: Educators who work with a financial professional feel better prepared to deal with pressures, such as rising healthcare costs, a lack of self-preparation for retirement, inflation-fueled increases in the cost of living and reduced spending power.
- Improved engagement: More than three-quarters of educators who work with a 403(b) financial professional monitor their account performance (76% versus 57%) and they are almost twice as likely to monitor different investment types (40% versus 21%).
- Greater interest in financial products, such as annuities and life insurance: Additionally, educators who work with a financial professional are more likely to see the benefits of additional financial products that can help address inflation and market downturns.
The research also shows that those working with financial professionals are more familiar with 403(b) plans, demonstrate greater awareness of their investment options, and better recognize the importance of their 403(b) accounts. Respondents surveyed also report greater confidence in the quality of their investment choices (75% versus 47%), in meeting retirement plans and retirement goals (78% versus 60%), and in their ability to leave assets to their heirs (82% versus 71%). In addition, 84% of educators who elect to use financial professionals are more likely to feel satisfied with their 403(b) plan, as opposed to 59% who do not.
Eleven percent of respondents to the 2022 survey were offered Equitable Financial plans in their school districts. The use of the term “advisor” for purposes of the survey does not necessarily imply that the individual is an investment advisor representative (IAR) with a registered investment advisor (RIA). The use of these two terms is meant in a general sense of the word or phrase to describe working with an investment advisor, a licensed insurance agent or other financial professional who may sell annuity products or securities.
Equitable, a principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH) has been one of America’s leading financial services providers since 1859. With the mission to help clients secure their financial well-being, Equitable provides advice, protection and retirement strategies to individuals, families and small businesses. Equitable has more than 8,000 employees and Equitable Advisors Financial Professionals and serves 2.8 million clients across the country. Reference to the 1859 founding applies specifically and exclusively to Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company.
Equitable is the brand name of the retirement and protection subsidiaries of Equitable Holdings, Inc., including Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY), Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), an AZ stock company, and Equitable Distributors, LLC. Equitable Advisors is the brand name of Equitable Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI and TN)