The baby boomers are here, all 76 million of them. They have either retired or are planning to retire. But unlike previous generations, their needs and desires are much different as they enter their golden years.
Yes, they have accumulated assets that could be used to fund their retirement, although fewer and fewer have company pensions to rely upon. They have witnessed several stomach-churning stock market machinations or been downsized from the corporate world, making them more skeptical of investment advice than their parents’ generation even as they grasp the need for proper financial guidance.
See our infographic: What boomers want from agents
Surprisingly for a generation that prides itself on challenging conventions, it’s also pushed them to seek safe money alternatives like life insurance and fixed annuities. Stocks? Not so much.
Yet they are technically savvy (a landline, what’s that?) and demand a different type of interaction with their advisors.
All these attributes came to light in our 2013 Annual Boomer Survey, as did these six financial planning truths that set your boomer clients apart from any other market. We thank all those who participated and hope the insights provided here help in your pursuit of boomer clients.
1. One retirement plan does not fit all.
“The benefits provided by their employer are different among them. Some have pensions, some have 401(k)s, some have both and a few have neither. Plus, they may have had a change or changes in their benefits due to the recession. No two clients are the same, so it is more of a challenge to put the right plan together for each individual.”
2. Proper financial planning is all about timing.
“Boomers need to learn that they are leaving the ‘accumulation phase’ of their life and now will be focusing on asset protection, sustainable income, and distribution — ‘decumulation’ — of their assets over the next 30-plus years.”
3. Guaranteed income streams provide coveted security.
“[Boomers have] extreme insecurity regarding the reality of ever retiring or having sufficient income during retirement. I concentrate on guaranteed retirement income utilizing a detailed spreadsheet presentation comparing needed return of various investment vehicles with industry standard withdrawal percentages (to lessen the probability of ever running out of money) to guaranteed income streams utilizing income riders.”
4. Fixed indexed annuities are a retirement-friendly investment.
“Unlike their predecessors, boomers are uniquely wary of the stock market. This has caused them to actively challenge the conventional wisdom and made them more open to the age-old idea that slow and steady wins the race. FIAs (fixed indexed annuities) fit right into their wheelhouse once they understand the benefits.”
5. Financial portfolios require constant maintenance.
“Boomers are unique because they are retiring early and living longer. This makes it a challenge to constantly review their accounts to make sure their goals are on target.”
6. Staying educated is key.
“The boomer client likes to be informed. The more information they have to educate themselves the more informed they feel when making a choice for their retirement. This ties right into working with them on creating an income for life with their 401(k)/IRA.”
For more coverage from our 2013 boomer survey, visit www.LifeHealthPro.com/BoomerSurvey.