Retirement planning is a big client draw. Especially since the recent recession. These days everyone wants to know when, if and how they can retire. At the same time, everyone from the government to the financial services industry to consumers are trying to figure out what retirement really means in an age of increased longevity.

But given the graying population in the U.S., advisors who can help clients define the concept of retirement are going to have a distinct advantage. Brokerage programs such as Huntington Investments and Key Investment Services recently instituted services specifically designed to help clients with retirement planning are seeing increased revenue and deeper client relationships.

The question of retirement today is really a question about how to live the second half of your life. Since, at age 65, many more people have 30-odd years to go, it's almost like taking stock in the middle instead of at the end of life. This is a great opportunity for people to reassess their careers and choices, almost like an institutionalized late midlife crisis.

Advisors who can help clients navigate this transition both financially and emotionally stand to get more business, more insightful conversations with clients and strengthen existing relationships. Since we know that most near-retirees consolidate their assets with one advisor, this is also a time to bring in funds that are being held outside your program.

Our cover story takes you through the basic strategies that work to help clients handle the financial part of that transition and raises some of the issues that are sure to come up for you and your clients. It's difficult for me to think of information that's more valuable and more apropos to advisors today.


Pamela J. Black