While many affluent investors are optimistic about the economy, a new survey says that retirement planning still weighs most heavily on their financial decisions.

The 2015 TIAA-CREF Affluent Investor Barometer found that most investors with at least $250,000 in investable assets are more concerned with saving for or generating income in retirement, rather than building an inheritance for their heirs. Kathie Andrade, executive vice president and head of Individual Advisory Services at TIAA-CREF, explained the results.

“Retirement looms large even for higher-net-worth Americans who recognize the importance of saving and investing,” Andrade said. “Retirement can sometimes last 20 or 30 years or more, so individuals need to strike the right balance between shorter-term financial priorities and long-term planning to help ensure they’ll have income to last throughout their retirement."

When asked about their investment goals, 50 percent of affluent investors said they were most interested in generating income in retirement, and another 41 percent cited a desire to accumulate savings for their retirement, while just 5 percent prioritized creating a legacy for their heirs.

Reflecting those goals, the survey suggests that most affluent investors begin financial planning at a young age, with 34 percent meeting with a financial advisor before the age of 35, and another 26 percent having that first meeting between the ages of 35 and 44.  Most of those surveyed cited their financial advisor as their most reliable source for financial information.

“With so many factors to consider, it’s not surprising that the affluent individuals who consult with a financial advisor say they benefit from their advisors’ expertise,” Andrade said. “Advisors can offer individuals a long-term perspective on investing and help them make smart decisions when they experience market volatility or major life changes, so they can stay on the path to a secure financial future.”

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