Many Americans Turn to This Risky Source of Retirement Tips

Confused couple
Jihan Nafiaa Zahri /

When Americans need retirement advice, many turn to family and friends first.

In fact, 35% of respondents say they use family and friends as a source of information for retirement planning, according to the 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Unfortunately, asking family and friends to map out a route to your golden years is a bit like asking Aunt Edna — rather than a doctor — for tips on treating your wonky gallbladder.

Another 35% of survey respondents did a little better, saying they turn to online resources and perform other research when crafting a plan for retirement.

In third place is perhaps the best resource of all — a professional financial adviser. More than one-quarter — 27% — of respondents said they use this option as a source of information when planning their retirement.

The top sources for retirement planning advice cited in the survey include:

  • Family and friends: 35%
  • Online resources and research you do on your own: 35%
  • A personal, professional financial adviser: 27%
  • Your employer/work info: 22%
  • Online advice or advisers that provide guidance based on formulas: 17%
  • Representatives from your workplace retirement plan provider: 16%
  • Financial experts or gurus in the media: 16%
  • Church/religious centers or leaders: 6%
  • Libraries or community centers: 6%

How to find the best retirement planning resources

Sure, you can rely on loved ones to help you make perhaps the most important financial decision of your life. But you can do better. So, seek out the advice of a pro, or properly educate yourself.

If you want the advice of an expert, stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center and search for a great financial advisor. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson also offers more tips for finding the right professional in an episode of his “Money!” podcast — “How to Pick the Perfect Financial Adviser.”

If you prefer a DIY approach, start your education process by reading Stacy’s article “Your Top 5 Retirement Questions, Answered.”

If you want to take an even deeper dive, enroll in Money Talks News’ retirement course. It’s a 14-week boot camp with everything you need to plan the rest of your life, know you’ll have enough money and make your retirement dreams a reality.

The course is intended for those who are 45 or older, and it can teach you everything from Social Security secrets to how to time your retirement.

For more on the course, check out The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need.

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