Despite the hype and obsession surrounding the pending retirement of baby boomers, a recent survey by Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking indicates that most financial advisors aren't up to speed on the gerontology issues facing this aging demographic. According to the November survey of 326 RIA firms, 63% of advisors don't have specialized training in the physical, psychological or social needs of aging clients. In addition, less than 10% have certifications in various aspects of aging.

   The last point might raise some eyebrows given the regulatory concerns over both the proliferation of advisor designations and the marketing practices of some so-called "advisors" focused on the senior citizens market. But Maya Ivanova, research manager for Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking, says that continuing education courses offered by reputable organizations, such as the American Institute of Financial Gerontology (AIFG), could help advisors better meet the health care and elder planning needs of seniors.

   According to the AIFG, financial gerontology is a multidisciplinary study of biology, psychology, sociology and demography that focuses on helping people adapt to the physical, psychological and social aspects of aging.

   Surprisingly, the Rydex survey found that while baby boomers comprise the largest percentage of clientele for many advisors (48%), only 12% of advisors rank boomers as their main focus. Boomers are a substantial focus for 38% of RIAs and somewhat of a focus for 39%.

   When asked how they are preparing their firms for the fast-approaching wave of boomer retirees, 57% of advisors say they're developing tools and resources to assess a client's retirement readiness and identify areas where the client will need additional support. Some advisors (44%) are building strong relations with their clients' children, while others (44%) are partnering with professionals, such as estate planning specialists, who offer services to pre-retirees.

   AdvisorBenchmarking, Inc., is a research and analysis center that's an affiliate of Rydex Investments.