Advisors are struggling to serve baby boomer clients and their retirement income needs, according to a new study from GDC Research and Practical Perspectives.
The study finds that advisors are challenged with attracting and engaging with investors who are retired or almost retired. They are also divided as to the best way to generate sustainable income, according to the report. Specifically, many advisors lack the skills to address basic issues like setting realistic expectations or educating investors on what retirement really involves. While most advisors are confident in their abilities to serve retirees, they have not coalesced around a common strategy for generating retirement income and many lack capabilities to deal with common topics such as Social Security, Medicare, or elder care.
The delivery of retirement income is full of contradictions, says Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives and co-author of the report. It is a critical and growing element of most advisor practices today and many have developed some processes and tools to serve these types of clients. Yet advisors still need help with fundamental elements of retirement income support, especially with how to identify prospective clients and interact with them on key topics.
Dennis Gallant, president of GDC Research, and another co-author added: Advisors working with retirement income clients are most concerned with how economic uncertainty, rising taxes, and the potential for increased inflation can undermine a plan. Advisors are not as concerned with the possibility of rising interest rates and the threat this could pose to retirement income portfolios. While they are open to new solutions, most advisors are generally satisfied with the range of products available to help them serve retirement income clients.
The report is part of an ongoing series from the authors exploring how advisors can meet the growing demand for retirement income.