New Study Finds Salt Lake City Residents Surveyed Struggle More Than Average Americans to Find Trusted Financial Advice

Despite Lack of Trust, Salt Lakers Feel More Financially Prepared than Rest of Nation
Salt Lake City, October 21, 2013 – TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, released survey findings today revealing that more than half of Salt Lake City residents surveyed experience difficulty finding trusted sources of financial advice. In fact, 58 percent of Salt Lakers, compared to 48 percent of Americans nationwide, say it is hard to know what sources can be trusted.
Identical surveys were conducted nationally and in Salt Lake City. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and polled a random sample of 1,000 adults nationwide, as well as an additional 400 Salt Lake City residents, on their attitudes, preferences and behaviors about receiving financial advice.
The survey highlighted considerable differences between Salt Lake City residents and the general American population regarding their respective feelings and perceptions about financial advice.
  • Fifty-seven percent of Salt Lakers say that now, more than ever, they need a trusted place to go for financial advice, compared to 46 percent of all Americans.
  • Salt Lakers who seek financial advice are more likely to act on that advice than the American public as a whole (90 percent vs. 81 percent).
  • Fifty-eight percent of Salt Lakers who sought out financial advice increased their savings, vs. 48 percent nationally.
  • Fifty-one percent of Salt Lakers seek financial advice to plan for unexpected events and emergencies like a divorce, loss of a loved one or natural disasters, compared to only 39 percent of Americans nationwide.
  • Salt Lakers are more likely to request financial advice related to planning medical expenses (57 percent) than the general American public (43 percent).
  • Sixty-four percent of Salt Lakers seek out advice about making their retirement savings last, as opposed to 54 percent of all Americans.
  • Salt Lakers seeking advice rely more on financial information from financial service provider advisors or consultants (61 percent) than the general American population (53 percent); rely more on financial service provider website or online tools (49 percent vs. 40 percent); and rely more on their primary bank (42 percent vs. 32 percent).
“When it comes to financial advice, trust and personal touch are key if we expect individuals to take action,” said Patty Harte, managing director, institutional relationships at TIAA-CREF. “Delivering relevant and trustworthy financial counsel is at the core of what we strive for at TIAA-CREF. As the survey and our own experience affirm, those who seek financial advice act on it, and those who act on it have an opportunity to create better financial futures for themselves and their families.”
Survey results also revealed dissimilarities in the perception of financial advice and management between men and women in Salt Lake City:
  • Women in Salt Lake City who received financial advice reported monitoring their savings and spending more frequently than their male counterparts (74 percent vs. 64 percent).
  • After receiving financial advice, Salt Lake City women were more likely than men to establish an emergency fund (70 percent vs. 54 percent) and change their spending habits (65 percent vs. 56 percent).
  • Seventy-eight percent of Salt Lake City female investors say they have a low-risk approach, compared to 67 percent of men.
To give women the tools they need to help them plan for a financially secure and successful future, TIAA-CREF continues to expand its Woman to Woman Financial Empowerment Series, which includes workshops that are developed by women, for women. Each workshop is interactive, allowing attendees to learn from the financial advisor, as well as the other women in the room. To date, this program has reached thousands of women across the country. Seventy-three percent of these attendees have increased their retirement plan contributions.1
Additionally, TIAA-CREF continues to expand its portfolio of advice and financial education resources to give clients more options for receiving help, including:
  • Enhanced Online Advice and Guidance Center: TIAA-CREF’s Advice and Guidance Center has expanded to feature articles and resources based on commonly searched financial topics, including retirement, and a variety of other important life events. The enhanced site also delivers TIAA-CREF clients individualized content to help ensure the information they receive is relevant. Visitors to the site can customize their experience by answering a simple profile question to receive targeted financial information.
  • TIAA-CREF “Financial Essentials” Financial Education Program: One year after unveiling a series of new in-person workshops and webinars, the program continues to expand to address a variety of topics from investing, saving and budgeting to planning and living in retirement. New workshops tackle the real issues individuals face, like planning for healthcare costs in retirement and learning how to effectively use online tools to help manage their finances. To date, 95 percent of attendees say the workshops are “very valuable.”2
  • In-Person Advice Services: TIAA-CREF will add more than 200 advisors to its team around the country by the end of 2014. Since the beginning of 2012, TIAA-CREF has grown the number of advisors by more than 75 percent, helping individual clients across the country on their journey toward financial well-being.
TIAA-CREF has been offering personalized retirement plan advice on the plans record-kept by TIAA since 2005 at no additional cost to clients. To deliver high-quality and personalized advice, TIAA-CREF offers hundreds of thousands of in-person and online advice consultations each year. According to research conducted by TIAA-CREF in 2012, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of those who received in-person advice and more than half (54 percent) of those who used TIAA-CREF’s Retirement Advisor tool took action, choosing to either save more, revisit their portfolio allocation or rebalance their portfolio.3
For more information on the national survey, read the 2013 TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey Executive Summary .

Survey Methodology

The nationwide survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone using both landline and cell phones among a national random sample of 1,000 adults, age 18 years and older, between August 28, 2013, and September 2, 2013. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The Salt Lake City survey was conducted by KRC Research by phone using both landline and cell phones among a random sample of 400 adults in the Salt Lake City designated market area (DMA), age 18 years and older, between September 13, 2013, and September 19, 2013. The margin of error for the DMA is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.


TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $542 billion in assets under management (as of 09.30.13). It is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

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  1. Based on internal TIAA-CREF Women to Women Workshop results tracking to June 2013.
  2. Measures contributions of participant registrants YTD June 2012 over YTD June 2013.
  3. Based on internal TIAA-CREF Financial Essentials Workshop survey results tracking to September 2013.TIAA-CREF Advice & Planning, 2012.
Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. There is no guarantee that diversification will protect against a loss of income.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.
Advisory services provided by Advice & Planning Services, a division of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.