Survey says College is Low on long-term savings Totem Pole: Most parents and grandparents aren’t saving enough for their children’s and grandchildren’s college education, and they aren’t willing to put off retirement to pay for it, according to a survey by OppenheimerFunds Inc.

Among 1,000 people surveyed who have children or grandchildren age 18 or under, 58 percent aren’t saving for future college education expenses, and 68 percent haven’t tried to figure out how much they’ll need to save. And those who did calculate it were way off - 56 percent estimated that they would need to save less than $75,000, when the cost is much greater, Oppenheimer said.

Sixty-one percent of respondents aren’t confident that they will have enough money for their children’s educations. Twenty-three percent plan to rely on financial aid, while 20 percent are hoping for an academic or athletic scholarship, and 19 percent said that they will start saving at a different time, according to Oppenheimer’s “Understanding Consumer Knowledge of College Savings Vehicles” survey.

New York Life Adds New Lifetime Income Product: New York Life Insurance Co. has added a new lifetime income annuity to its lineup. Aimed at consumers who are concerned about outliving retirement savings as more and more people live well into their 80s and 90s, the LifeStages Lifetime Income Annuity guarantees a stream of income for life, with payments that won’t vary despite fluctuations in the financial markets. Features include a payment acceleration feature, a withdrawal option that enables one-time access to some of the value of the remaining lifetime payments at certain times, the ability to elect for payments to increase yearly as a way to protect against inflation, and a variety of legacy options.

Survey says Consumers More Conservative: Three years of a sagging economy, rising unemployment and declining stock prices have left consumers more risk averse, focusing more on protecting their assets and families than building wealth, according to a survey of 600 financial decision-makers for John Hancock Financial Services.

When asked their opinions compared to a couple of years ago, 76 percent of financial decision-makers described themselves as more conservative investors, and 73 percent said that they are less likely to invest in financial products that run the risk of losing money.

Nearly two-thirds are more focused on asset protection, as opposed to growth, and 66 percent are more likely to invest in financial products with guaranteed rates of return than products with variable returns based on the stock market.

Respondents are also more likely to consider purchasing conservative and protection-focused products such as fixed-rate annuities (71 percent more likely to purchase), whole and term life insurance (60 percent and 59 percent more likely to purchase, respectively), and long-term care insurance (53 percent). Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said that they will continue to invest in products with guaranteed rates of return even once the economy recovers.

Roughly three-quarters said that when choosing financial services companies, it’s more important than ever to choose companies that are known for: safer products (74 percent), expertise in products with guaranteed rates of return (71 percent), and conservative investment strategies (60 percent).

Boomers emerged as even more conservative in their approach to financial decision-making. Over three-quarters of boomers describe themselves as more conservative investors today (78 percent versus 65 percent of younger consumers) and said that they are less likely to invest in products that run the risk of losing money (75 percent versus 67 percent).

Schwab Names Gradler Head of Government Affairs Office: Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. has named Geoffrey C. Gradler as senior vice president and head of the firm’s Office of Government Affairs. Gradler joined Schwab from the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, where he was director of congressional and regulatory affairs.

Gradler will be responsible for federal, state and local legislative matters for Charles Schwab. He will report to Carrie E. Dwyer, general counsel and executive vice president of corporate oversight.

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