With older working Americans needing retirement advice more than ever, financial planners can take advantage of a wealth of tools and resources being made available for National Retirement Planning Week, which runs April 7-11.
The event is a national effort to encourage Americans to plan for their financial needs in retirement. week has been observed annually since 2002, and it is targeted to both professional advisors and consumers.
“The theme of this year’s event is ‘Retire on your terms: Start planning your future,” said Danielle Holland, senior vice president of communication with the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), which is spearheading the event. The IRI is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to discussion, advocacy and education around retirement planning and retirement income issues. A number of prominent education, consumer advocacy and financial services organizations are also taking part in planning and sponsoring the effort.
The immediate goals of this year’s week-long event are to engage consumers to start thinking about retirement, and to convince them to engage with professional advisors on how to best plan for that event.
“As we started to do research after the recession, we started to see a decline in the confidence level of workers about retirement,” Holland said. “The retirement age is being pushed back, and more people expect to work in their retirement.”
“While Baby Boomers have redefined life at every corner, their lasting legacy may be in how Americans prepare for their retirement years. Through the course of their working years, a unique set of challenges has emerged, including changes in employee benefits, longer life spans, uncertainty with Social Security and Medicare, as well as rising cost of health care. As a result, preparing for and financing one’s retirement is now increasingly difficult, with more Americans shouldering the burdens themselves. This new paradigm is largely responsible for the confidence observed among Baby Boomers,” stated a prepared statement for National Retirement Planning Week.
A declining confidence and growing thirst for information
While it has been well publicized that today’s older workers are less prepared financially for retirement than the generation before them, there is at least one piece of good news on the retirement front, Holland says: these soon-to-be retirees are hungry for information and open to advice.
IRI research finds that workers want to “get back on track” with their retirement plans, to make up for lost time or lost earnings, and to work with financial advisors, Holland says.
All of which make National Retirement Planning Week the perfect opportunity for financial planners to get the word out on retirement issues in general, and how they can help clients in their individual journey to and through retirement.
Aiding in the effort will be a major public awareness campaign leading up to and throughout the week-long observance. Web site resources and promotional materials are being made available to financial planners; the IRI hopes they will be used along with a firm’s own activities.