What retirement issue has hit you or your clients out of left field, and how did you resolve it?

I have been surprised at the drop in value of some bond mutual funds. While previously considered to be a more stable option, the drop in bond fund values has resembled that of some equity funds.

What prospecting methods have been most successful for you in attracting retirement-planning clients?

We believe the value that we bring to clients is one that they want to share with others. So we have a “value conversation” during meetings or calls to find out if they know someone specific that we could bring value to as well.

Do you face any frequently occurring retirement-planning mistakes with prospects?

Many people feel that moving to something safer right now and then moving back into the market after it stabilizes sounds like a good idea. I try to educate people that they are likely to miss the major “ups” in the market if they do this, and may never make back what they have lost.

What challenges do you face when modeling clients’ retirement incomes and cash flows, and how do you resolve them?

With volatile values comes the challenge of structuring income streams that cannot be outlived! If suitable, I often use guaranteed life time payout streams within annuities for some of the income.

What mix of products and solutions do you use most often and why?

We look at a clients’ full financial picture. Recommendations may include insurance programs such as life insurance and long term care coverage, as well as financial options like mutual funds, managed accounts, fixed and variable annuities, and money market accounts. We also work closely with client’s attorneys and CPA’s to make sure our recommendations align with their tax and estate planning.