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The value of advice, as perceived by clients planning for financial security and retirement, is evolving rapidly. For the past several years, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab, working with AIG, has conducted research into the perception of the value of financial professionals and the financial advisory service industry in general. The survey and findings are summarized in a study you can download here.

Based on a survey of more than 2,000 clients of financial professionals in the US, this survey was designed to probe the limits of today’s typical financial advisory relationships and to explore whether clients will permit the scope of these relationships to expand into the more holistic model known as “longevity planning.”

The study is in two parts, covering these topics:

Part 1. Building Trusted Relationships

Trust and Satisfaction in Financial Professionals

What Drives Client Satisfaction?

Broadening the Scope of the Conversation

Why Do Clients Leave Their Financial Professional?

Summary: Insights for Financial Professionals

Part 2. Deepening the Client Relationships

What Topics are Being Discussed?

Expanding the Conversation

Health and Security Topics

Wealth and Lifestyle Topics

Family and Loved Ones Topics

Summary: Insights for Financial Professionals


Key points in the white paper:

  • Across multiple age groups, top three drivers of client satisfaction with their financial professionals are “financial professional’s expertise” (49%), “financial professional’s understanding of my financial and life goals”(49%) and “financial professional’s ability to explain things” (34%). 
  • The survey asked clients what roles they are looking for their ideal financial professionals to fill. All age groups choose “future financial risk management,” “helping me see a plan for my future,” and “financial educator” as their three top roles. 
  • The two most common responses in the survey as to why clients leave their financial professionals are poor performance (49%) or poor service (48%).
  • Clients are open to expanding conversations to areas that go beyond traditional topics, including cybersecurity, but the areas that are usually top of the mind are health and safety, wealth and lifestyle, and family-related topics. 
  • Clients polled were highly satisfied with their current financial professionals. 
  • The youngest clients, aged 30-45, were most likely to say they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their current professional (82%), as compared with 76% of those aged 46-60 and 79% of those aged 61-75. 

Read more from this in-depth, insightful study, which contains a wealth of charts and graphs to help illustrate the findings. 

Click on the PDF below to download the full 33-page report. 

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement) consists of four operating segments: Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Life Insurance and Institutional Markets. It includes the following major U.S. life insurance companies: American General Life Insurance Company, The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York.

The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 to invent new ideas and creatively translate technologies into practical solutions that improve the quality of life of older adults and those who care for them. Through research ranging from longevity planning to caregiving, transportation, smart home, multigenerational work and more, the AgeLab applies consumer-centered systems thinking to understand the challenges and opportunities of longevity and emerging generational lifestyles to catalyze innovation across business markets. 

Follow the MIT AgeLab on Twitter @MIT_AgeLab.