Is it easy to save and manage money? Consumers say yes; advisors say no.

A disconnect exists about how easy the task is between the people trying to save money and those trying to help them, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in collaboration with research-led consulting firm Heart+Mind Strategies Advisors.

Although consumers frequently do not save enough, 78 percent believe it is easy to to do so, but only 39 percent of advisors agree. Even more consumers, 88 percent, believe it is easy to manage money, yet only 30 percent of advisors agree, according to the survey of 133 financial advisors and 300 consumers between the ages of 35 and 65 with at least $100,000 in in investable assets.

It is important for advisors to be aware of this disconnect if they want to help consumers manage their money and meet their goals, said Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board CEO.

“An advisor needs to know what a consumer is spending and saving before developing a comprehensive financial plan,” he said. “While there may be some hesitation by consumers to ask for help, if financial advisors don’t proactively engage them on budgeting and cash-flow needs they are missing a clear opportunity to help their clients take control of their financial futures.”

Forty-eight percent of advisors agree clients would benefit from budgeting so they can coordinate their spending and their overall goals, the survey said. Clients also need assistance when they do not understand their own spending habits, when they do not understand the impact of saving, and when they do not have an emergency fund, the advisors said.

Almost all of the advisors, 96 percent, said clients are more confident and secure about their financial futures when they have a budget. But advisors also noted that it is difficult to help some clients with budgeting because some withhold data, provide inaccurate information or are unwilling to adjust their habits.

Advisors from three-fourths of the firms said their firms provide some form of cash-flow management, and more than half include cash flow management in the clients’ plans all or most of the time.

“Understanding earnings and expenses are core to financial wellness at every income level. Even though budgeting can be a time-consuming process, it is well worth it,” Keller said.

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