COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Opportunity exists for more advisor 529 sales
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/survey-results-college-savings-plans

Posted: 2013-02-25

by Joseph Hurley

Financial Professional Content

Savingforcollege.com recently conducted its first annual College Savings Survey, an online survey of our website visitors designed to investigate families' beliefs, goals, and actions when it comes to saving for college in America. We received over 2,400 responses, and although not conducted in a random or scientifically-controlled manner, the survey results are highly instructive.

Here's a sneak preview of some of the results that may be of interest to financial professionals.

The survey group consisted mostly of moderate- to higher-income parents. The average age of respondents was 42, and two-thirds of them reported family incomes above $75,000 (one-quarter above $150,000).

Surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents had not yet even started saving for college. On the other hand, perhaps that is not so surprising considering they were coming to Savingforcollege.com to learn more about college savings and to get started.

When asked why they had not begun saving for college, 40 percent included "lack of money" as a reason. "Procrastination" or "not enough time to research" were cited as reasons by over 75 percent of respondents.

Of the respondents who had opened a 529 plan, 23 percent used a financial advisor while 77 percent did not. The biggest reason for using a financial advisor? "Because I was already working with one." No surprise there, but it is a good reminder that your best 529 prospects are within your existing client base.

Why not use a financial advisor? The three most-cited reasons, in order of popularity, are:

  1. I feel comfortable researching and understanding investment options on my own.
  2. I don't want to pay commissions.
  3. I'm concerned about hidden fees or costs when working with a financial advisor.

The three least-cited reasons are:

  1. My financial advisor suggested I open the 529 plan on my own.
  2. I don't trust financial advisors to do what's best for me.
  3. I don't know any financial advisors.

Finally, the survey showed that approximately two-thirds of college savers are contributing monthly through an automatic contribution plan.

Watch for full survey results coming out soon.

Financial Professional Content

Savingforcollege.com recently conducted its first annual College Savings Survey, an online survey of our website visitors designed to investigate families' beliefs, goals, and actions when it comes to saving for college in America. We received over 2,400 responses, and although not conducted in a random or scientifically-controlled manner, the survey results are highly instructive.

Here's a sneak preview of some of the results that may be of interest to financial professionals.

The survey group consisted mostly of moderate- to higher-income parents. The average age of respondents was 42, and two-thirds of them reported family incomes above $75,000 (one-quarter above $150,000).

Surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents had not yet even started saving for college. On the other hand, perhaps that is not so surprising considering they were coming to Savingforcollege.com to learn more about college savings and to get started.

When asked why they had not begun saving for college, 40 percent included "lack of money" as a reason. "Procrastination" or "not enough time to research" were cited as reasons by over 75 percent of respondents.

Of the respondents who had opened a 529 plan, 23 percent used a financial advisor while 77 percent did not. The biggest reason for using a financial advisor? "Because I was already working with one." No surprise there, but it is a good reminder that your best 529 prospects are within your existing client base.

Why not use a financial advisor? The three most-cited reasons, in order of popularity, are:

  1. I feel comfortable researching and understanding investment options on my own.
  2. I don't want to pay commissions.
  3. I'm concerned about hidden fees or costs when working with a financial advisor.

The three least-cited reasons are:

  1. My financial advisor suggested I open the 529 plan on my own.
  2. I don't trust financial advisors to do what's best for me.
  3. I don't know any financial advisors.

Finally, the survey showed that approximately two-thirds of college savers are contributing monthly through an automatic contribution plan.

Watch for full survey results coming out soon.

 

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