By Graeme Ballantyne Business Consultancy Manager, Prudential
It feels like change is the new business as usual and, with more change around Pensions, it continues to be a great time to be a financial adviser as many clients really need your help to make the most of their retirement plans.
This article looks specifically at clients aged 50 plus and highlights two key stages in their retirement journey. It offers the opportunity for you to reflect on how well you articulate the value you provide to these clients.
The Retirement Journey
Helping a client think more deeply about their changing needs over time increases your relevance and value to them. A really important question to ask yourself is:
How do my clients know I can help them with each stage of their retirement journey?
That is, when clients look at your website and any other client-facing materials, what evidence can they see of your experience in helping them achieve their retirement goals at every stage of their journey?
So, let’s look at the first stage…
Some way off
These clients are probably over 50 and have between 10 – 15 years still to go until their selected retirement date (SRD), or the age when they can draw their state pension.
Whether you’re helping them decide when they want to retire, make a decision about the amount in income they will need when they do, or helping them review their existing retirement plans and identify savings gaps, you probably use different tools at your disposal to help this conversation.
But whether you use retirement modellers and cash flow planners or tax and pension calculators, the most important tool will be the plan you develop with them to ensure they start to take their retirement much more seriously than may have been the case to date. More focus at this stage increases the amount of choice your client will enjoy further along the journey.
At this stage your client is probably fully retired and receiving their state pensions as well as generating income from their pension savings.
At this point, you could be helping them think through any number of things, from maintaining a retirement plan that is fit for purpose, to planning funeral expenses.
Hopefully they will be enjoying life doing the things they had planned to do, safe in the knowledge they have their finances under control and they will not run out of money. These are the important conversations that will help your clients understand their situation.
A picture tells a thousand words
But how valuable do your clients find your ongoing review documents? Can they see at a glance what their plan is going to do for them?
At Prudential, we are increasingly seeing advisers using retirement modellers and cash flow planning tools to present a client’s financial plan with increased clarity. These let the client see at a glance whether they are on track to achieve their goals and live the life they want.
Take a look at the example below. This is a client who had a value of £140,000 at 55 and wanted to see how the fund could be used to supplement his state and company pension. He wanted to improve his retirement up to the age of 85 and then rely only on his state and company benefits. The diagram below is much clearer for the client to understand than pages of text alone.
Do your review documents show the client’s future cash flow clearly?
Through your knowledge and skill in building an appropriate plan for each client you will help them achieve their income goals by utilising their tax allowances and minimising their risk. This is surely what most clients over 50 are looking for.
To find out more about how you can give your clients a more meaningful review meeting and enhance your value as an adviser,
sign-up to Round 2 of Bankhall’s Professional Development Days to hear Prudential’s presentation, ‘Making The Most Of The Retirement Planning Opportunity”.