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CDA 2011 Advisor Disability Awareness Study
The Disability Divide: Advisor Study

The gap between consumers' attitudes - and advisors' perceptions of those attitudes - about disabilities and their potential threat to their financial security.

Interest in Income Planning

Consumers think financial planning is important at all ages.
Advisors assume consumers are most receptive to income protection planning in their 40s.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers believe that it's important to start planning financially for a loss of income in their 20s or at any age.

  • One out of every four consumers agreed that income protection planning is "important at any age."
  • 42% said people should start planning "in their 20s.
  • Only 13% of consumers said financial planning was only important once people had moved into their 40s and beyond.
Our sample of working Americans seems to crave more sound financial advice at younger ages. From this study, it's not clear how consumers define "financial planning." So it's critical that advisors position income protection as an essential cornerstone of all financial planning. Given that 90% of consumers in our previous consumer study rated their ability to earn an income as their most valuable financial resource, that may not be a hard sell.

Advisors don't think consumers would be willing to discuss disability insurance until their 40s.

This area of the study represents one of the greatest divides between consumer attitudes and advisor perceptions of those attitudes. In general, today's consumers may be more receptive to the idea of financial planning at much younger ages than advisors expect. Nearly half of all advisors thought consumers would most value financial planning in their 40s - but almost as many consumers believed it is important to start income planning in their 20s.

These findings suggest there are opportunities for those advisors who can engage younger consumers in discussions about how to protect what they already believe to be their single most valuable asset - their ability to earn an income.
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