July 2016 – Retirement Planning Education

Most Americans are woefully underprepared for retirement. According to the Insured Retirement Institute Fact Book 2016, only 55% of Baby Boomers have money saved for retirement. This growing, aging population is set to further strain Social Security and other governmental programs: by 2020, America will have 56 million individuals age 65 or older. There is a clear need for educational information and calculators, as 58% of Gen Xers and 61% of Boomers have not even tried calculating the amount of money they need saved by retirement. It is imperative that individuals develop a comprehensive retirement plan far in advance of retirement age. The first step in developing a financial plan is education, and the first place people turn today for education is online. Thus, firms must provide educational resources centered around the retirement planning process. In this report, we analyze the retirement planning educational resources offered by 17 Annuity Monitor firms. We focus on the extent and type of resources provided, with special attention paid to how firms market educational information with annuity product recommendations and context illustrating the role of annuities in providing retirement income.

Annuity Monitor firms ensure prospects and clients can gain a basic understanding of retirement planning, as all firms analyzed in this report offer informative articles or educational text. Most firms diversify content offerings, with 53% including videos, 35% offering downloadable brochures and 30% providing planning worksheets. The vast majority of Annuity Monitor firms—76%—promote a retirement-related planning tool or calculator within their educational pages. Tools and calculators are especially key for allowing prospects to ascertain their personal need for retirement planning, after disseminating basic information. In terms of articles, firms delve into a wide array of topics, including planning advice for people at different life stages, information on how annuities fit into a retirement plan, savings advice and specific planning strategies. Significantly, 76% of Annuity Monitor firms take advantage of their retirement planning educational resources to promote annuities. Contextualizing the need for an annuity as a retirement savings vehicle within retirement educational information is a crucial opportunity for content marketing.