High-net-worth clients appear to be putting off retirement, according to a recent study of advisers.

The retirement income survey, conducted by MainStay Investments, the adviser distribution arm of New York Life Investments, found that investors are still shaken by the deep recession of 2008 and early 2009.

More than half of the advisers surveyed said that a majority of their clients are delaying retirement.

Forty-six percent of the advisers cited loss of assets in late 2008 and early 2009 as the top reason clients are postponing retirement, while 40% listed health-care costs as the next most important reason.

Almost all of the advisors (91%) surveyed indicated that they have made changes to their clients' portfolios in the wake of the market downturn. Guaranteed income products, such as annuities, were cited by more than 60% of advisors as being part of their new portfolio strategy to help clients meet retirement income needs.

More than 500 advisers were polled between Dec. 8 and Dec. 14, with 9% of the respondents being independent.

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