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Financial Advisors Say Maintaining Current Lifestyle and Future Healthcare Costs Are Key Drivers as to Why a Majority of Americans Plan to Delay Retirement

NEW YORK – April 6, 2010 – In the case of delaying retirement: To want or to need? That seems to be the question.


According to a recent Retirement Income Survey released today by MainStay Investments, financial advisors indicated that for clients delaying retirement, maintenance of lifestyle was a driving motivation behind working longer. A majority of advisors surveyed (61 percent) indicated that their clients are not concerned with covering basic needs in retirement, but with having to give up luxuries such as traveling and dining out.


Even with robust market gains in the second half of 2009, financial advisors say that investors nearing retirement are still shaken by the unprecedented market events of late 2008 and early 2009. More than half of the financial advisors surveyed say a majority of their clients are delaying retirement. Forty-six percent of advisors cited loss of assets in late 2008 and early 2009 as the number one reason clients are postponing retirement, while 40 percent of advisors pointed to healthcare costs as their second top reason.


“While the market upheaval shook both investor portfolios and confidence levels, advisors in our survey reveal that their clients have not pared down their expectations for their golden years, choosing to delay retirement rather than scale back their lifestyle plans,” said Matthew Leung, director and head of practice management programs at MainStay Investments. “We believe this signals a need for close advisor-client communications, so that together they agree on the asset allocation strategy and investment product mix that is best suited for both their risk tolerance levels and lifestyle expectations.”


Guaranteed Income Products Gain Favor

The market crisis also revealed the true risk tolerance profile of many clients. According to more than half of the surveyed advisors (60 percent), too much exposure to equities has been a major issue. As a result, almost all advisors (91 percent) have made changes to their clients’ retirement portfolios.


Mutual funds still rank the highest as advisors’ (85 percent) investment product of choice for funding client retirement. Significantly, guaranteed income products, such as guaranteed lifetime annuities, have been cited by more than 60 percent of advisors as part of their new portfolio strategy to help clients meet retirement income needs.


Additionally, the survey finds that three-quarters of advisors are providing guaranteed lifetime annuities to at least some of their clients as a retirement income solution. For those not currently incorporating these annuities into their clients’ portfolios, 20 percent are planning to do so in the near future.


Other Retirement Income Educational Opportunities

The survey shows there remains a need for clients to be educated on the amount of the supplemental income essential to maintaining their current lifestyle in retirement. Advisors say less than half of their clients know how much money they actually need to supplement social security, for instance. Helping to identify income shortfalls and to determine alternate sources of income will serve their clients well.


Another area for client education is how much money can be safely withdrawn from a retirement portfolio without depleting nest eggs. Sixty percent of advisors agree that helping clients understand withdrawal rates will be a top priority.


The MainStay Retirement Income Advisor Study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between December 8 and December 14, 2009 among more than 500 financial advisors from Harris Interactive’s Financial Advisor Intermediary panel. Of the survey respondents, 91 percent were wirehouse advisors; 9 percent were independent advisors.


About MainStay Investments

MainStay Investments is the advisor distribution arm of New York Life Investments, a top 25 global money managers1 with over $256 billion in assets under management, with its affiliates, as of December 31, 2009. We deliver the investment products and expertise you’ve come to expect through: Multi-Boutique Management, offering access to leading institutional managers that drive performance; Proven Wealth-Building Tools, providing actionable and effective solutions to help invest and plan for all life stages; and a commitment to you. We proudly stand on a track record of accountability, integrity, and commitment - a powerful combination in today's marketplace.




John Puccio

New York Life Investments



1. Pensions & Investments, May 18, 2009


"New York Life Investments" is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC. MainStay Investments, an indirect subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10010, provides investment advisory products and services.