Financial planners reported mean gross earnings of $283,079 in 2006, an increase of more than $50,000 from a year ago, according to a recently released survey.

Conducted by the College for Financial Planning, “The 2007 Survey of Trends in the Financial Planning Industry,” also found that, unsurprisingly, longevity in the profession was a factor in reported earnings. Professionals with between five and nine years of experience reported earning an average of  $111,730, while planners with more than 30 years of experience averaged $476,464 in earnings.

According to the survey, the typical client of financial planners is a two-income couple, between the ages of 50 and 59, with gross income between $100,000 and $149,999, discretionary income ranging from between $10,000 and $20,000, and a net worth between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Clients were considered most knowledgeable about basic budgeting and financial goal setting and least knowledgeable about estate planning;
  • Clients were most concerned about health-care costs and least concerned about losing their jobs; and,
  • While nearly 90 percent of clients expect to be able to maintain their current standard of living in retirement, only 70 percent of financial planners expect that outcome for their clients.

Similar to the findings of a year ago, more than half of the survey respondents reported fee and commission work as their primary source of earnings, followed by "fee only.” The fees charged in 2006 to prepare single-focus and comprehensive plans remained fairly consistent when compared to those reported in 2005.Copies of the full survey, which more than 400 certified financial planners participated in, can be purchased at www.cffp.edu.

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