According to the new What’s your Number? report by wealth manager and Financial Planner Sanlam UK, nearly half of 1,000 consumers surveyed had no plans to talk to an adviser about their finances and preferred to manage their finances themselves.
However, 55% of savers admitted they had doubts about their ability to retire when they wanted to and an estimated 40m UK adults have failed to set a target ‘number’ for their retirement savings - the amount they need to retire comfortably.
Older generations were the least likely to have spoken with a professional advisers. Over half (51%) of those over 65 had never taken any financial advice, with 57% saying this was because they could do it on their own.
One in five (19%) respondents with over £100,000 in savings said they had not spoken with a professional adviser at any point in their lives, with the majority of these saying they trusted their own instincts (60%).
Almost half of those going it alone were not turning to any other sources to plan their financial decisions. Of those that did, the most common source of information was speaking to family members (26%).
The availability of online ‘advice’ was something advisers felt was a barrier to seeking professional face-to face advice with 19% of advisers saying that prospective clients cite the internet and apps as a reason for not seeking advice.
There were significant differences between advised and unadvised savers. Advised clients felt twice as confident about being able to retire how and when they would like to (59% vs 30% non-advised).
They were also far more likely to have set a target income for their retirement (27% vs 19%), and to have allocated and passed on money for their dependants while they are still alive (67% vs 40%).
Some 88% of advisers said their average client was financially prepared for retirement, while a third (34%) had seen problems when people tried to manage their finances themselves.
Lawrence Cook, Sanlam head of UK intermediaries distribution, said: “At the heart of the problem, many are simply crossing their fingers – in some cases burying their heads in the sand altogether. The fact remains that proper, robust Financial Planning is the best way to ensure you can achieve your financial goals in a smooth and timely way.”
• The survey sought the views of 1,000 UK adults; 500 adults with £100,000 in savings and 250 financial advisers in August.