More advisors are finding that one specific demographic accounts – retirees and pre-retirees — for most of their business.
According to a report from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, half of all financial advisors says the majority of their business is dedicated to financial planning for pre-retirees and retirees. This represents a huge increase in this type of activity since just five years ago – nearly 40 percent.
“Given so many baby boomers are retiring or preparing for retirement, it is not surprising that advisors are seeing more of their business dominated by the needs of these consumers,” said Jafor Iqbal, assistant vice president of the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.
The Institute estimates that retiree households will account for more than half of the more than $25 trillion investable assets by 2023.
“Managing these assets and de-accumulation for their clients will be very important for the foreseeable future,” Iqbal said.
One explanation for this extraordinary increase may be that advisors have significantly expanded their retirement income planning services since 2011, according to the LIMRA study. Overall, eight in 10 advisors said they spend more time now on retirement income planning than ever before.
Today, two of the three of an advisor’s most valuable services are minimizing the risk of running out of money and reducing portfolio volatility, said LIMRA.
“Researchers found that while advisors consider offering a realistic view of retirement lifestyle a valuable service, consumers say creating a formal written retirement plan is more important,” noted LIMRA.
Among those advisors who offer formal written retirement planning services, nine out of 10 said this activity helps them better understand their clients’ goals, improves retention and increases client confidence in their retirement preparedness. An Institute consumer survey released earlier this year showed that pre-retirees and retirees with a formal written retirement plan are nearly three times as likely to feel financially ready for retirement as those who don’t have such a plan.
Advisors recommend that their clients allocate between one-quarter and one-third of their financial portfolio to guaranteed lifetime income products, according to the Institute research. About 90 percent of advisors agree that guaranteed lifetime income products provide peace of mind for their clients during retirement, and they also believe it’s important for aging and elderly clients to include these products in their retirement portfolios. Yet advisors hesitate to offer these products.
“There is substantial resistance not to use the products in a client’s portfolio because these products offer less flexibility,” said LIMRA. “Nearly four in 10 advisors say that guaranteed lifetime income products compromise their ability to manage a client’s portfolio as circumstances change.”
Still, guaranteed lifetime income products like fixed indexed annuities hold a valuable place in a retirement portfolio. And when properly placed into a diverse retirement portfolio, such products can provide the predictable income that clients need to feel secure in their golden years – along with giving advisors the flexibility to manage client portfolios.