Several interesting articles came out recently on topics that are being discussed in the financial advisory industry. The common theme of these topics and articles is how to address client needs and wants in a rapidly changing environment. Each article has an important message. However, in my opinion, there is another topic related to these that isn’t talked about as often but is equally, if not more, important. This topic is beginning to be talked with in the financial services industry.
A couple of recent research studies have pointed out that the biggest retirement concerns people have beyond having enough money and running out of money are NON-Financial. These concerns include staying productive and useful, finding meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved, feeling isolated and alone, and not being able to retire on their own terms.*
Planning for these is the “Missing Link” to each of the topics discussed below. Read on to find out about about the common thread among these topics.
We often hear the term “Retirement Readiness” as it refers to being prepared financially for this time. If you Google the term, you will find things like a checklist, scorecard, index, and even a calculator all attempting to help people be ready for retirement. It is even a term with a definition in Investopedia. Investopedia, to its credit, does refer to this as also being prepared mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. They are on the right track. However, there are two sides to address to be “ready” for retirement. Most often, however, when this term is used, it is only focused on the money side of retirement.
Being prepared for retirement also includes many NON-Financial factors that also need to be planned for, as Investopedia’s definition points out. Planning is needed around such questions and topics as: what you will do now with more time of your own, how you will define your purpose and identity, what you will do to stay (or get) healthy and active, where you will live, and who will be in your social circle, just to list a few. It takes forethought and planning to be prepared BOTH financially and NON-Financially to achieve a happy and successful retirement.
Longevity is increasing and that will require a different set of skills to help people navigate this extended time. Retirement in previous generations meant stopping work at 62 or 65, stopping what we had been doing for the previous 40-45 years, transitioning to a life of leisure and living another 15-20 years. Increased longevity is showing that we may live to 90 or beyond. Medical and technological advances are making this more and more likely. Add to that people who live a healthy lifestyle along with things we are learning about the effect that strong relationships have on our health, and the odds of a longer, more active life, increase even more.
This result of this for many retirees, if they continue to retire at age 62 or 65, like previous generations, could live 30+ years in retirement. That’s a long time, not only from a financial standpoint, but also from a lifestyle (what will I do and how will I spend all this time) standpoint. ThinkAdvisor recently had an article about adding Longevity Planning services. People need to plan for the NON-Financial aspects of retirement, and they need some guidance on how to address each of these.
Wealth Management 3.0
There is a change that is underway in the wealth management industry. Similar to what was pointed out in the ThinkAdvisor article, a recent article in Wealth Management titled Wealth Management 3.0: Longevity Advisors (and also on LinkedIn), RBC Wealth Management CEO, Michael Armstrong, points out how the industry is on the brink of a significant change, as he calls it, Wealth Management 3.0. He says, “The real opportunity, however, lies in shifting our collective mindset and starting to think of ourselves not just as financial advisors but also as longevity coaches.” Longevity, life events that take place during this time, and the fact that 10,000 people turn 65 each day (20% of the population in 2030 will be 65 or older) creates an enormous opportunity for advisors to help clients beyond just their money.
Schwab also recently released The Independent Advisor Outlook Study which showed that 64% of advisors new clients are Baby Boomers. This segment of clients has several concerns and needs, some related to money and some not related to money. Providing guidance on the NON-Financial aspects of retirement provides tremendous value to clients.
As these articles demonstrate, the financial advisory industry is beginning to realize the need for planning beyond managing money is becoming more important in the client/advisor relationship.
Transition (Milestone) Planning
Similar to what I just mentioned, InvestmentNews recently had an article (Milestone Planning Helps Clients and Advisers) written by Jamie Hopkins, Director of Retirement Research and Vice President of Private Client Services at Carson Group. In it, Mr. Hopkins makes an excellent point: “Milestone planning allows the adviser to show additional value that’s not directly tied to investment gains and losses from each year. Instead, the value is accompanying a client on a journey to help them conquer life challenges and meet goals- a huge shift in the client-adviser paradigm.”
Although he is referring to several life milestones that occur throughout a person’s life, a major milestone during a person’s life is retirement. Probably THE major milestone since this is what we hearing about and have been saving for our whole life. Many people aren’t prepared for what happens after they retire- they need guidance on some of the things to watch out for that can sabotage retirement as well as planning for these NON-Financial aspects.
The Missing Link
So, what is the common denominator (you probably have figured it out since I have mentioned it in obvious ways)?
The Missing Link that connects each of these topics is…planning for the NON-Financial aspects of retirement. I call it creating an Encore Portfolio. My approach to this planning is by addressing the following seven areas: Values & Beliefs, Purpose & Identity, Work & Learning, Health & Activity, Family & Friends, Leisure & Travel, and Home & Location.Similar to having a financial portfolio allocation, it is also important to have an allocation for the NON-Financial aspects of our lives in retirement. Each person’s allocation will be different depending upon how much you want to allocate to each of these areas. Having a vision for the lifestyle you want in retirement (Encore Portfolio), you are better positioned to have a financial portfolio created that will support their lifestyle.
Just crossing the artificial finish line called “retirement” does not guarantee we will be ready for this phase of our life. Creating an Encore Portfolio provides the vision of your retirement lifestyle.
Planning for these NON-Financial aspects that confront us in retirement becomes the Missing Link by helping answer some of the issues involved in Retirement Readiness, Longevity, Wealth Management 3.0, and Transition (Milestone) Planning.
Financial Advisors: Is the financial advisory industry evolving and moving towards helping clients address issues other than only the financial? Is your firm thinking of moving toward Wealth Management 3.0 or adding Transition (Milestone) Planning services?
Contact me if you would like to learn more about creating an Encore Portfolio.
I can be reached by email at Reid@MyLifesEncore.com or by phone at 952-233-2151.
*Sources: Wishful Thinking or Within Reach? Three Generations Prepare for Retirement, Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and Transitioning Into Retirement, MetLife Mature Market Institute.
Authors note: There are many great points about both the financial and NON-Financial aspects of retirement that each of these and other studies have found. For this article, I was only looking at the retirement concerns of the respondents and how these concerns can be addressed and resolved.