Financial advisors are falling woefully short on planning for their own financial future and retirement, according to a survey by CLS Investments LLC released today.

Only 19 of the 117 advisors surveyed said they have a completed, formal succession plan, says CLS, a third-party money manager and manager of ETFs within individual investor portfolios. The lack of planning is part of what is prompting half of the advisors to say they will not retire until at least age 71, if at all, CLS says.

In addition, most expect the sale of their businesses to fund the majority of their retirement, with 41 percent saying the sale of their business will be between one quarter and half of their retirement assets, and another 14 percent expecting a sale to make up half to all of their retirement assets.

“It is clear to us that independent advisors need a wake up call—they are relying overwhelmingly on their businesses to fund their retirement,” says Todd Clarke, CEO of CLS. “But they fail to account for the fact that should something happen to them, or if their business does not sell for the right price, they, like most Americans, will be woefully underfunded for retirement.”

Thirty-nine percent of respondents intend to sell their businesses to another advisor or merge with a younger advisor at retirement age. However, CLS believes that as the advisory industry ages, options are emerging for succession planning beyond the typical solution of selling a practice.

“Selling a practice, while seemingly an attractive option, may not be in the advisor’s best interests, or may not be what the advisor truly wants to do,” Clark adds. “Advisors need to consider putting in place business planning strategies that will provide continuity for the firm with the option of continuing to stay involved in the practice.”

Advisors should make a focused effort to establish legal agreements, create operational efficiencies and bring in junior staff, according to the survey. “Advisors owe it to themselves and their clients to take action now, positioning themselves with the most choices, flexibility and options for enjoying their businesses and careers, while ensuring their clients are well cared for,” CLS says.