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Financial Advice is a Scarce Resource in the Southeast

Financial Advice is a Scarce Resource in the Southeast

In a new study from the University of Georgia, researchers discovered approximately 10% of Americans live in an area considered as a financial advice desert. This new concept was coined by researchers and describes “a low proportion of financial planners or planning institutions where people are less likely to understand their financial options or save for the future.”

This lack of access to financial advice is happening at the same time that retirement income has been trending away from company-paid pensions and toward becoming the responsibility of individual workers.

Swarn Chatterjee, lead author of the study and Professor of Financial Planning in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences shared his concerns with the study’s findings.  Chatterjee who also teaches in UGA’s onlineMaster of Sciences in Financial Planning said many individual workers underestimate how much money they need to retire and increased access to financial planners can help combat this issue by improving saving habits.

Giving Meaning to Financial Advice Deserts

Researchers found residents of states considered financial advice deserts are less likely to own a retirement account or contribute funds to a retirement account. Additionally they are less likely to accurately predict their retirement fund needs. They found these trends even more pronounced in areas with large minority populations and in sparsely populated areas. 

How to improve financial health

Education on financial literacy and planning is a key first step to creating a greater understanding of financial health and how to plan for the future. Whether beginning at the primary school level or in workplaces, exposure to financial literacy is necessary.

“Financial planning is something everyone should consider,” said Chatterjee.

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning in order to successfully prepare for future retirement, learn how to protect yourself financially from events like a recession or a pandemic, or want to learn how to become a financial advice resource, consider theOnline Master of Science in Financial Planning program.

To learn more about this study, read the full article.