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Meeting the retirement challenge

New approaches and solutions for the financial services industry


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Retirement planning is probably one of the biggest financial challenges most consumers will ever face and many Americans find it increasingly daunting. Efforts to help consumers meet these challenges appear to have resulted in limited success. This state of affairs, despite the billions of dollars spent by the retirement industry on sales, marketing and advertising of retirement products and services, presents quite a paradox.

The Deloitte Centre for Financial Services conducted a survey of nearly 4,500 consumers to generate insights into how financial institutions might develop new approaches and solutions by better understanding the attitudinal and behavioural constraints preventing consumers from taking more control of their retirement destiny. The survey findings reiterate that many people are not doing enough on their own to prepare for retirement, and as a result, feel insecure about their financial future.

Analysis of the survey data revealed five main barriers inhibiting many Americans from taking a more disciplined approach to retirement. These include:

  • Conflicting priorities
  • A failure to communicate
  • A lack of product awareness
  • Mistrust in financial institutions and intermediaries
  • The "do-it-myself" mentality

In this report, we offer insights about each of these barriers, and suggest how the industry's operating models and marketing approaches might need to evolve so that financial services providers can more effectively reach and serve consumers in tackling their retirement needs.

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