People working with a financial advisor are substantially more likely to be saving for retirement and save at higher rates, according to a recent survey by Limra.

Those working with advisors also are more likely to feel confident they are saving enough for the retirement years, the survey said.

The survey was conducted of 3,742 people across the United States by Limra, a research and consulting firm for the financial and insurance industries based in Windsor, Conn.

The survey shows 61% of the people working with a financial advisor are saving 7% or more of their salary in a retirement plan, while only 38% of those not working without an advisor are saving that amount for retirement. At the same time, 78% of those working with an advisor are saving something for retirement compared to 43% of those not working with an advisor.

Of the respondents working with an advisor, 71% were confident they are saving enough, while only 43% of those not working with an advisor had confidence in their retirement savings level. About one quarter of the people work with an advisor.
Researchers attributed the difference in levels of savings to education.

"It is clear that advisors make a difference," said Alison Salka, corporate vice president and director Limra retirement research. "It is vital we, as an industry, better communicate the value of using an advisor to ensure a secure retirement--especially to younger consumers who are less likely to have a pension to rely on in retirement and are also less likely to be saving for retirement."

Of those working with an advisor, half say the advisor provides guidance on how much to save for retirement and nearly one third say the advisor provides guidance on a target amount to save, the survey shows.

--Karen DeMasters