Matching Assets and Retirement Needs

New report aims to categorize wealth and life stages

The Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) has just launched the first in a series of in-depth reports providing cutting-edge research that gets to the heart of the retirement income challenges facing millions of baby boomers across America.

Designed to complement a growing body of research on retirement income and spark discussion and idea generation across the industry, "RIIA's research is unique and value-added because our goal is to create links across the traditional business silos within the industry," said Francois Gadenne, founding chairman of the RIIA and president and CEO of Boston-based firm Retirement Engineering, Inc. "We strive to offer a broad market view that is rarely undertaken by member companies which tend to focus their research on traditionally defined, specific business lines. Such research also leverages the knowledge and focus of RIIA Associate Members who provide consulting and research expertise in specialized arenas."

The first report in the series presents a snapshot of the total assets and wealth of American families and relates them to their specific retirement income needs by using a brand new typology that divides American households into different categories of wealth: "Wealthy (Top 5%), Affluent (Next 15%), Mass Market (Middle 50%), Marginal (Last 30%), and life stages: Starters, Builders, Pre-Retirees and Retirees."

This typology will help financial services firms serve the emerging needs of American households as they age and accumulate wealth, said Chris McNikle of Greenwich Associates and chair of RIIA's research committee.

"In essence, this analysis is a detailed look at the retirement products, distributors, advisors and financial services firms that each category of customer uses which will help financial services firms focus more precisely on retirement income market opportunities," explained McNickle.

Upcoming RIIA research will provide additional perspectives on trends in the distribution and use of retirement income products and services, with a focus on pre- and post-retiree households and the financial intermediaries who serve them.

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