Job satisfaction among financial planners remains high, with 96 percent of financial planners saying they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their career choice, according to an annual survey.

The College for Financial Planning's "2008 Survey of Trends in the Financial Planning Industry" found that the number of respondents with less than 10 years in the industry doubled from 2007 to 45 percent. Length of time in the industry has an enormous effect on earnings. Planners with less than a year of service had mean gross earnings of $96,638, while those with between 20 and 29 years of service earned $469,224. Respondents consistently reported increases in income after obtaining their CFP designation.

Planners reported multiple affiliations, with 77 percent saying they have a financial planning affiliation, 46 percent an investment planning affiliation, 35 percent a securities affiliation, and 30 percent an affiliation with the insurance industry.

When planners were asked what standard of living their typical client expects in retirement, 86 percent of their clients were optimistic about their ability to keep the same lifestyle after retirement. In contrast, 65 percent of the planners themselves were optimistic.

Clients knew the most about basic budgeting and financial goal setting, and least about tax and estate planning. The typical client profile remains similar to those in previous surveys. Typical clients are between the ages of 50 and 59 and are a two-income couple, with an income of between $100,000 and $149,999, and a yearly discretionary income of between $10,000 and $19,999.

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