The vast majority of young financial advisors report being at leastsomewhat satisfied with their career choice, according to a newsurvey from LIMRA.

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For Gen X and Gen Y advisors under the age of 40 and with lessthan eight years in the industry, 44 percent report being verysatisfied with their work. For those with more than 8 years ofexperience, 60 percent reported being very satisfied.

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When accounting for the “somewhat” satisfied, the figure jumpsto about 90 percent for advisors above and below the eight-yearthreshold.

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That level of satisfaction suggests income and workplace flexibility are at least beingclosely matched with the expectations advisors held when theydecided to join the industry.

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Six in 10 young advisors said they chose their career path tomake a difference in people’s lives. For Gen X advisors, thosealtruistic instincts had even more sway in their decision thanearning potential, as “making a difference” in people’s lives wasthe top reason for becoming an advisor.

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Along with the independence that recruiters often tout as a keyfringe benefit to the advisory industry, younger advisors also puta high value on collaborative and mentoring relationships with moreseasoned advisors.

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Three quarters of advisors under the age of 40 said they had amentor relationship, most of which developed informally, as only 18percent said they were part of a formal mentoring program.

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That’s a trend worth noting in a graying industry. Research fromBoston-based Cerulli Associates last year showed 43 percent of alladvisors last year are over age 55, with the average age of theentire industry being 51. About one-third of advisors are betweenthe ages of 55 and 64.

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Most of those advisors are moving toward retirement without asuccession plan. Data varies, but one survey of 117 independentfinancial advisors by CLS Investments showed only 18 percent have adefined succession plan.

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The same study suggested advisors are counting on the sale oftheir business to fund their own retirements: 40 percent said theyexpect the proceeds to generate 26 to 50 percent of what they willneed; 14 percent said they expect the proceeds to generate up toall of their retirement income.

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LIMRA’s Young Advisor Snapshot is the first in a series ofreports examining the perspective of younger advisors, as thefinancial services industry faces the challenge of recruiting andretaining new advisors to replace an aging sales force.

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