Retirement Outlook? Bad. Can the Web Help?

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New Research Identifies Which Retirement Firm Web Sites Are Making Retirement Planning and Saving Easier.

Most Americans are woefully behind on their retirement savings. In theory, the web should offer some hope. The web should allow people to become better informed about retirement planning. The web should make it easy to get started with the right kind of retirement account, thus making saving easier. Unfortunately, the web sites of most firms offering retirement solutions make learning about retirement options much harder than it needs to be.

According to new research released today by Change Sciences Group, more than 50% of sites offering retirement solutions make it hard to find the retirement section of the site, let alone make use of it. For people that make it to the retirement section of the site, about half of the sites do not provide the most basic information about retirement fundamentals, such as finding clear, easy to read definitions of account types, or getting a clear definition of "tax deferral".

What about Full Service?

Most full service brokerages, while sometimes providing helpful content, make it extremely difficult to set up an account, forcing people who may just want to roll over funds to request a printed form, fill it out and fax it back. Most banks don't do much better.

To jump to report details visit:

"Most sites are either cluttered up with too much content that's not written for the web, or too Spartan to be of any use," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner. "For brokerages, full service or discount, not having a meaningful retirement web strategy simply turns away a wide range of prospects."

There are some bright spots. A handful of sites have taken significant steps toward making their retirement sites easy to use and informative. The best site is more than three and a half times better than the worse site, and more than two times better than the average site. The three best retirement sites overall are:

1. Vanguard

2. Wells Fargo

3. TD Ameritrade

Other sites covered in the report include: A.G. Edwards, AIG SunAmerica, AIG VALIC, American Century, Ameriprise, AXA Advisors, Bank of America, Charles Schwab, Chase, Citibank, E*Trade, Edward Jones, Fidelity, Key Bank, Marshall & Ilsley, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, National City, Piper Jaffray, PNC Investments, Prudential, Scottrade, Smith Barney, SunTrust, T. Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, TIAA-CREF, US Bank, Vanguard, Wachovia, WaMu Financial, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, and Wells Fargo.

For a detailed research overview including more findings, sample data, the report table of contents, and the complete ranking of all 35 sites visit:

About Change Sciences

Change Sciences was founded in January 2000 to help companies improve online business by basing decisions on how people use technology while they live, work, and play.

If you would like more information about this topic or would like to talk with Steve Ellis, please call Kathy Berona at 888-864-1160.


Kathy Berona

Change Sciences Group, Inc.



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