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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

The real retirement fears

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I think baby boomers are starting to get the message (at least at the conceptual level) of the need and costs of addressing longevity in retirement.

Just watch 60 minutes of primetime network TV – you’ll see green lines, orange money, falling dominoes and some scolding from Tommy Lee Jones. See, you know exactly what I am talking about without me even mentioning the sponsors of those commercials. 

If longevity was the only risk to going broke in retirement, your job would be easy. 

But it’s not. 

Effective retirement planning requires getting inside your clients’ heads and hearts and learning their fears and concerns about what could cause them to run out of money. 

The recently released AICPA CPA Personal Financial Planning Trend Survey has identified reasons why clients fear going broke (a relative term) in retirement.

The nuggets in this survey are the unexpected events clients were concerned about facing. In addition to longevity, the concerns that fueled the fear of going broke in retirement include:

    • Health care costs 
    • Withdrawal rates 
    • Market fluctuations 
    • Lifestyle expenses 
    • Long-term care expenses 
    • Caring for aging relatives 
    • Job loss 
    • Adult children returning home

As a financial professional, one the biggest challenges you face helping clients articulate and identify their individual retirement concerns. Might I suggest using the above list to jump start the conversation? 

The Bottom Line: In order to address your clients’ retirement worries, you have to dig deeper than the numbers. Find out what potentially troubling events concern them most – then find solutions to help calm their fears.


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