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LPL Financial Research Releases First Annual U.S. Retirement Index

SAN DIEGO, June 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LPL Financial LLC, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer*, a custodian for registered investment advisors, and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq:LPLA), today made available its first annual Retirement Index, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their retirement desirability for pre-retirees between the ages of 45 and 64. It is unique in its evaluation of the pre-retirement population as well as for evaluating more than just financial data, but other factors considered important for a successful and happy retirement. The index ranked Virginia at the top spot, while New York landed at the bottom. Popular retirement states Florida and Arizona ranked Nos. 37 and 43, respectively, while less populated South Dakota and Wyoming were both positioned within the Top 5.

Other highlights from the Retirement Index:

  • Rounding out the top five with Virginia, are, in order, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
  • The bottom five states, each with an overall F grade, include New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, California and Arkansas.
  • New York was one of only two states to have three categories ranked with a grade of F, including housing, community quality of life and financial.
  • It’s not all bad for the Northeast though as its states received the largest concentration of high healthcare, wellness, and employment and education grades.
  • Only two other Southern states join Virginia among the top 20, with Tennessee at No. 10 and Georgia at No. 16.


The LPL Financial Research Retirement Index provides a holistic look at each state’s retirement environment, measuring financial data as well as community quality of life, employment and education, healthcare, housing and wellness. Bearing in mind the personal nature of retirement planning, an examination of the index allows an individual to consider what matters most to him or her, and can facilitate a discussion with a financial advisor about how best to prepare to meet those goals.

“The insights were prepared with our proprietary analysis and provide a comprehensive view of the factors highly considered when planning for retirement,” said Anthony Valeri, senior vice president, Research, LPL, and the study’s co-author. “Academics, policymakers and advisors increasingly recognize that retirement readiness includes not only finances, but a broad range of economic and quality-of-life factors.”

“LPL’s independent research adds value to our advisors by empowering them to provide their clients with thoughtful and expert advice,” said David Reich, executive vice president and head of Retirement Partners, LPL. “By accessing this holistic look at retirement, our advisors will be able to create engaging and broad discussions with their clients about retirement planning and the ways in which they can help them to work toward their life’s aspirations.”

From an economic development standpoint, a state’s position within the index can provide indications about the areas of improvement that a state can make to create an environment more conducive to retirement.

*Based on total revenue, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2015

Index Construction and Methodology

LPL Research pulled public data sources for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The index is based on six broad categories that represent retiree desirability and help preparedness – Financials, Healthcare, Housing, Wellness, Employment and Education, Community Quality of Life. Within each category, 4-6 diverse subcategories provide depth and balance. For example, the wellness category looked at obesity rates, physical activity and percentage of smokers, to name a few. For each subcategory, each state was assigned a score based on the state’s metric in relation to the national average and the distribution of the state-level data. The subcategory scores were then weighted to reflect relative importance and aggregated to a final grade for each category (A-F). The broader six categories grades were also weighted, resulting in an overall grade for each state (A-F). The weighting system was designed such that a very negative or positive score in one particular subcategory would have a large influence on the category grade, but a more limited influence on the overall grade. All data evaluated the 45 to 64-year-old demographic. Find a complete explanation of the Index, here.

About LPL Financial

LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq:LPLA), is a leader in the financial advice market and serves $485 billion in retail assets. The Company provides proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 14,000 independent financial advisors and more than 700 banks and credit unions. LPL Financial is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer since 1996 (based on total revenue, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996–2015), is one of the fastest growing RIA custodians with $105 billion in retail assets served, and acts as an independent consultant to over an estimated 40,000 retirement plans with an estimated $120 billion in retirement plan assets served, as of March 31, 2015. In addition, LPL Financial supports approximately 4,300 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms, and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have 3,352 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.

About LPL Financial Research

LPL Financial’s research group, led by managing director and chief investment officer Burt White, provides strategic, objective investment insights to advisors who leverage LPL Financial’s Research platforms. The group's mission is to be a trusted partner to our advisors who in turn provide investors with choices to help meet their financial goals. The team provides those advisors with market, investment management, portfolio construction, and due diligence advice.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial. A registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.

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Source:LPL Financial