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Retirement Planning > Social Security

Boomer Clients vs. the Greatest Generation

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Planner larry moskat in Scottsdale, Arizona, believes that advising boomer clients is a “hugely different experience” than working with their parents’ generation.

Clients who came of age during World War II, he says, essentially trust professionals. Their retirement income is based on pensions and Social Security–”funds to which they feel entitled and which they do not care about having no control over,” he points out. They typically intend to leave as much as they can to their children.

By contrast, “boomers are skeptical and generally do not accept most things at face value,” he says. “They will Google planners and their recommendations as a matter of course.” Accustomed to 401(k)s, they expect to have more control over their money.

Larry also finds that boomers are less interested in leaving all they can to their heirs. “My impression is that they believe in giving their children the best tools possible to go out and create their own wealth, and in doing so feel they have done their part as good parents,” he says.

On balance, Larry sees boomer clients as more aware and engaged in the planning process. In the long run, he says, financial planners may have more successful relationships with boomers than they did with many of their WW II-generation clients.


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