Only two in five Australians currently receive qualified financial advice, according to a recent survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Yet more alarming, according Mark Rantall, chief executive officer of the FPA, is that of the remaining three in five Australians who do not receive advice on their finances, a mere 16 per cent are considering seeking it over the next 12 months.
"These findings are very worrying," he said.
"The research indicates not only that few Australians are currently seeking financial advice, but that they don't have any intention addressing the problem in the near future.
"The concern is that those who are in most need of advice — people in lower income households approaching retirement — do not receive it," Rantall continued. "This will place a great strain on the entire economy and the pension system."
Rantall said that the research had also found that only one in three Australians knew where to find a financial planner whom they could trust.
"The FPA community understands that there is much progress to be made in educating Australians about the benefits that quality financial advice can make to their families' lives," he said.
"We have just completed our 13th annual Financial Planning Week, which aims not only to educate but also to give Australians the chance to experience financial advice first hand by having their questions answered by financial experts for free.
"However, we realise that more needs to be done to improve access to qualified financial planners in an open forum," Rantall added.
"The FPA would therefore like to invite the general public to join the FPA community for breakfast at our Professionals Congress in Sydney on October 17th."
"They will also have the unique opportunity to hear Victoria Cross recipient and Father of the Year Benjamin Roberts-Smith speak at the opening plenary session."
Rantall said that despite the best efforts of the FPA community, it was clear that not enough Australians understood what a financial planner could do for them or what they should be looking for when seeking advice.
"In opening our Professionals Congress to consumers, we aim to demystify financial advice and empower everyone to improve their financial wellbeing," he said. "Attendees will be able to learn exactly what planners do, firsthand.
"We will also talk about what it takes to become a financial planner, what questions to ask and how to find a qualified trusted professional."
Originally published on SMSF Essentials.