Boston - Financial institutions that make online retirement tools readily available can increase consumer retirement account participation and action. That's the conclusion of a study conducted by Compete, Inc., a market research firm, with MSN and Media Contacts.The study, titled " Consumer Adoption of Online Retirement Planning Tools," was initiated to understand how consumers use online retirement tools at leading financial sites to develop and execute their wealth accumulation strategy. It revealed that every month an average of 180,000 consumers use online retirement tools, and consumers who are aware of the availability of online retirement tools and use them, are more likely to take action, according to Mike Bailey, managing director, financial services practice, Compete Inc. "Retirement sites need to seize this opportunity to leverage tools that develop relationships with consumers who will evolve into active customers with higher value accounts."

Compete's research sought to answer critical questions pertaining to the use of online retirement tools, by generational segment (Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors). The study evaluated online activity across key financial advisor, direct broker, retirement plan provider, financial media and financial portal sites. It examined search and navigation behaviors of online consumers and gathered attitudinal feedback using a targeted online survey.

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