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How to Tell if That Retirement Client Is Normal

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What You Need to Know

  • Typical pre-retirees do not actually expect to go into business for themselves after they retire from their current employers.
  • They worry about future health care costs.
  • They also are thinking a lot about what prices will do in the near future.

Every retirement planning client is different, but some are a lot more different than others.

They might be much more aggressive, careful or insulated from financial news than the typical client.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducted an online retirement risk readiness survey in February.

The sample included 1,000 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the contiguous United States. To participate, a single survey taker had to have at least $50,000 in annual household income or at least $150,000 in investable assets, and a survey taker in a relationship had to have at least $75,000 in annual household income or $150,000 in investable assets.

We used the survey results for the pre-retirees, or survey takers who were at least 10 years from their anticipated retirement dates, to create a 10-question quiz to determine how normal, or unusual, a client is, in comparison with the pre-retiree Allianz Life survey takers.

1. Does the client plan to start a business after retiring?

  • No: 0.
  • Yes: 1.

Only 26% of the pre-retirees said they would go into business for themselves after leaving their current employers.

2. Did the client respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by shifting money from investment accounts, such as 401(k) plan accounts, into cash?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 30% of the pre-retirees said they did this.

3. Did the client respond to the pandemic by reducing retirement account contributions?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 37% of the pre-retirees said they did this.

4. Did the client respond to the pandemic by cutting back on fun spending too much?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 60% of the pre-retirees said they did this.

5. Did the client respond to the pandemic by cutting back on major purchases, of items such as cars and appliances?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 61% of the pre-retirees said they did this.

6. Does the client worry about the risk of a market downturn hurting their retirement nest egg?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 62% of the pre-retirees said they worry about this.

7. Does the client worry about Social Security benefits being less than what’s currently being promised?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 64% of the pre-retirees said they worry about this.

8. Does the client worry about not being able to afford health care?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 68% of the pre-retirees said they worry about this.

9. Does the client expect inflation to get worse over the next 12 months?

  • No: 1.
  • Yes: 0.

About 76% of the pre-retirees expect inflation to get worse over the next 12 months.

Results

Score 1-2: This client might be more nervous and cautious than the typical client.

Score: 3-8: This client appears to be a typical client.

Score 9-10: This client might be more optimistic and aggressive than the typical client.

(Image: VectorKnight/Shutterstock)