More advisors wising up to retirement income planning

An exploding population of Baby Boomer retirees has evidently prompted more advisors to get into the retirement planning field, though it's still a smaller percentage of the entire business, declares a new LIMRA survey.

Three-quarters of the 1,042 financial advisors surveyed in December 2011 said they had recently made changes to their business to help with retirement income planning needs, though only 40 percent say the retirement field constitutes at least half or more of their business.

LIMRA's "Advisor Perspectives on Retirement Planning" also suggests that more retirees are receptive to formal written plans (60 percent offer them) than in the past. Written plans, the survey says, offer an easier way to discuss goals and products, arrange for rollover assets and build other advisor business, including referrals.

“As retirement income planning continues to increase in prominence among advisors, they and their firms are seeking ways to position themselves to offer more of these services,” said Matt Drinkwater, associate managing director of LIMRA Retirement Research. “Advisors need to address the expanding scope of retirement planning that their clients might need, and assess the capabilities and expertise required to meet the growing demand for these services.”

Those surveyed said they also favor a buckets approach for systematic withdrawals, as they promote flexibility, control and retention of assets. The takeaway, LIMRA suggests, is that manufacturers of guaranteed income solutions must demonstrate how their products fit into other retirement income strategies, in order to broaden their appeal.



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