Advisors are helping clients think more carefully about their lifestyle choices in and before retirement – but a recent survey by New York-based Voya also found that even while working with an advisor, few Americans are prepared to confront potential long-term care expenses.

The presence of financial advice has a clear impact beyond saving and investing, according to Voya’s research. While 83 percent of respondents with an advisor had thought about how they will spend their time in retirement, only 56 percent of those not working with an advisor had thought about how they will fill their days.

“Americans are all very focused on that magic number -- the amount you need to save to maintain your lifestyle in retirement -- but there are many important aspects of retirement planning beyond the financial,” said James Nichols, senior vice president of Voya Financial’s Customer Solutions Group, in released comments. “Advisors help clients take a broad view of their retirement and prepare for a fulfilling life when they stop working fulltime. This process includes discussions about how they will fill their days with activities and where they might want to live.”

Despite the presence of financial advice, long-term care is an area where Voya’s respondents still need help. Only 26 percent of the respondents with an advisor have saved enough money to cover the cost of long-term care or have purchased a product like long-term care insurance – which still compares favorably to the respondents without an advisor, 9 percent of whom reported saving enough for long-term care or owning some form of LTC coverage.

At several points, Voya’s survey links working with an advisor to more effective budgeting, investing and lifestyle planning in and ahead of retirement, as advisors can help prepare individuals for daily spending, health-care costs and other living expenses.

According to the study, 94 percent of individuals working with an advisor felt at least somewhat prepared to make decisions about estimating their monthly retirement income, versus 42 percent of individuals who did not work with an advisor.

Four-fifths of those working with an advisor felt ready to estimate their health-care costs in retirement, versus half of those without financial advisors.

Half of the respondents who worked with advisors planned to learn more about calculating their monthly living expenses at least five years before their retirement date, while only 39 percent of those who didn’t have an advisor planned to do the same. Nearly one-fifth of those without an advisor, 19 percent, said that they planned to wait until the year they will retire to calculate their expenses.

A similar gap exists between those with an advisor and those without in investment management and adjustments approaching a retirement date. When Voya asked respondents working with an advisor whether they planned to adjust their investments prior to retirement, 76 percent answered affirmatively, versus just 35 percent of respondents who did not work with an advisor.

Two-fifths of inviduals working with advisors planned to adjust their allocations with a focus on protecting assets ahead of retirement, versus just 18 percent of those who did ot work with an advisor.

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