There is no such thing as the “average” retiree. There are high-net-worth retirees with very low income; retirees with a high income, who have saved very little; and, everything in between. Some want to save as much of their earnings for the next generation as possible, and others spend every last penny, embracing the notion, that “you can’t take it with you.”
While retirees differ, based on my experience, the majority have one thing in common – a limited understanding of what should be done to ensure a successful retirement and a basic familiarity of the products available for helping them achieve their goals.
This is where financial advisors can play an important role. There are so many products and services to choose from, and understanding how those solutions work can be challenging. A financial advisor’s knowledge of products, combined with their experience in approaching clients and helping them achieve their goals, can make all of the difference in building the appropriate strategy. The best advisors have structure in doing so.
The biggest component of financial planning should center on helping clients identify their most important values and goals in life. One size does not fit all. To ensure clients start on the right path to realizing those answers, advisors need to ask the right questions to better understand what keeps their client awake at night, what their goals and objectives are, and what they want from retirement. Once an advisor understands the client’s goals, he or she can help offer better advice around things such as complex income taxes, asset allocation and asset location strategies, among other issues.
Financial planning for retirement, in essence, is an exercise best tackled with an experienced trainer. Those who are prepared and conditioned for the journey – and have been guided by a coach – are more likely to succeed in achieving their goals.