February 2014: Nearing Retirement

This Broker Monitor Report looks at the “nearing retirement Information” offered by brokerage firms – information directed specifically at investors in the pre-retirement stage. We are primarily interested in “off-the-shelf” information made available to clients and prospects by each brokerage firm, separate from individually tailored information and resources provided by financial advisors. Our aim in this report is to provide an overview of the current landscape of the nearing retirement stage based on how firms address this specific stage in the retirement planning process.

We found that, while general retirement planning is a standard topic addressed by most Broker Monitor firms, information intended for those nearing retirement in particular, is less common. Though 70% of firms offer information or resources geared specifically for this type of investor, many firms lack thorough content. Three full-service brokerages use individual advisor homepages as the main avenue to discuss the same topics. The advisor homepages at those three firms offer good resources, such as articles, white papers and tools.
While full service firms typically provided the best range of nearing retirement content, a few discount firms also do a good job of highlighting topics and issues for investors to consider as they transition to retirement. One firm helps investors understand the information by providing case studies and Q&As for investors. Another tackles the topic by highlighting key points and issues without using dense and dry content. A third firm has yet another approach, and offers good articles related to specific topics, as well as good tools, but offers a less organized method to housing content.
Additional key findings include:

  • Only one firm provides a definitive age bracket (50s and 60s) that it considers the point at which most investors are transitioning into retirement.
  • Eleven firms provide detailed information about lifestyle considerations (e.g., relocation, downsizing, part-time work, volunteering).
  • 42% of firms provide nearing retirement-focused articles
  • 19% of firms offer nearing retirement-focused videos or webinars.