Every Tuesday, Corporate Insight releases recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from our Monitor Reports andConsulting Services research, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries.
This week’s recommendations come from our Advisor Monitor report titled Retirement Planning Tools: Tools to Improve Client Conversations and focus on ways firms can improve the retirement planning tools they offer their financial advisors.
- Ask About Spouses– It is not just polite to ask after clients’ spouses, it also makes sound sense in retirement planning. Married retirees will often be living on shared savings and income, and it is important to account for this in retirement planning. Additionally, including a spouse in a retirement planner opens the door for further investing discussions, for example regarding estate planning and the use of Stretch IRAs. Fidelity does a strong job of providing fields to enter a spouse’s financial information and assets and including spouses in the final customized report.
- Provide Clients with a Retirement Planner Worksheet– Evaluating a client’s retirement planning and readiness requires a high volume of information, much of which may not be immediately recalled. Providing a worksheet allows clients time to collect their information and evaluate their retirement concerns on their own, freeing up valuable meeting time for other work. Additionally, by using a worksheet, advisors also open up the ability to enter their client’s information into a site’s retirement planner tool without the constraint of having the investor present. Oppenheimer provides an in-depth worksheet for clients that effectively guides them through their evaluation of income sources and needs.
- Short Falls Should Be Illustrated– Findings of a retirement planner should be apparent and straightforward. They should be clearly communicated through an illustration, preferably a graph charting the probability of success pertaining to a particular retirement goal, as well as in the form of a probability of a percentage of likelihood that success is attained. Fidelity successfully communicates the probability of success provided the accuracy of the hypothetical by way of a graph, as well as a detailed yet to-the-point chart listing retirement goal, monthly income goal, hypothetical retirement amount, additional savings needed and the likelihood of success.
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