Another finding, he said, was that although investors desire a level of competency in their financial adviser, they desire one who understands their individual needs more than one who claims to be an investment expert.
"They're telling us it is important their adviser does more than just give investment recommendations - that their adviser understand family dynamics, small business needs, and help clients envision what that longer-term lifestyle looks like," Diehl said.
Diehl said if you ask people for the first step in working a jigsaw puzzle, some would say it's turning all of the pieces right side up or finding the corners.
"But the most important first step is looking at the picture on the box," he said. "Once you do that, you can begin. The financial adviser of the future will aid the client in understanding what the picture looks like and then recommend the appropriate strategy."
Diehl said the Age Lab found that scare tactics aren't very effective with aging consumers "because their life experience tells them they'll deal with it when they come to it. We're better off helping people understand how to make the most out of what they have; to be smarter consumers and smarter investors.
"The other thing the Age Lab says is we cannot ignore the importance of health care questions. Whether I'll be caring for a spouse or an aging parent, which has tremendous lifestyle implications. I may need to cut down on employment or exit the workforce entirely for a period of time. I may need to understand where the money to pay for needed expenses will come from.
"This is especially true if we're talking to the eldest daughter in the family because the Age Lab tells us she will likely be responsible for the care of her parents.
"Understanding the very different models of care as well as the monetary and emotional needs of the caregiver will be paramount," Diehl said. "The point being, it may take the traditional financial adviser outside of where they used to feel comfortable, which was simply recommending investments. They'll now be asked their opinion on a wide range of topics."
The Smart529 College Savings Program, the state Society of Certified Public Accountants and the state Treasurer's Office sponsored the financial leadership summit, which was at The Summit Conference Center on Summers Street.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.