A top concern of your baby boomer clients: outliving their retirement savings. This means the decision of when to collect Social Security retirement benefits is incredibly important.
Many of your clients are likely hardwired to believe they should begin collecting benefits as early as possible. The reality is that there are many other options and, for most, collecting at age 62 may not be the optimal choice.
Social Security can be a complicated topic to tackle, but by understanding some of the basics, you can help your clients maximize their Social Security retirement benefits and build your practice.
Ready to Add Social Security to Your Practice?
- Follow 6 Steps
- Leverage Our
"My client was ill advised by her existing (soon to be former) financial advisor when she asked him what she should do regarding filing for Social Security. When I spoke with her, I asked to get copies of her Social Security information. The recommendation coming from your team would provide her with approximately $160,000 in extra benefits during her life expectancy! I can not imagine that this individual won't be a life long client as a result of the work." - P.W., Midwest
"I encouraged my client to take the survivor benefits and wait till 70. I was able to add value in a way that 100% benefited my client with no fee to me. My client saw the value and called me today to tell me she called her 401(k) and will be taking an in-service distribution so that I can handle her funds for her personally. She is telling everyone around her at work that I found her $66,000 which is the survivor benefit she will collect till 70." - E.P., West
Help your clients see clearer – recognize opportunity in volatile markets.
When today's investors worry about financial planning, they are often concerned with market volatility. Wild market swings, economic difficulties and general uncertainty provoke even the most informed investors to abandon financial plans in favor of hasty decisions – decisions often destructive to reaching long-term goals.
These volatile environments often incite difficult conversations between advisors and their clients. However, it is important to keep two viewpoints in mind when communicating with a client:
- Volatile times present opportunities to reinforce your value as a trusted financial professional.
- Market volatility can provide room to take strategic action.
Surprisingly, signs of market volatility can actually be the "buy signals" that reap benefits to the long-term investors who act on them. Communicating this understanding of market volatility is important to ensure investors do not miss out. Through understanding how investors react to volatility, and identifying your clients' values, you can have effective conversations to help your clients see market opportunity more clearly.
A successful practice is comprised of investment performance, client retention, growing share of wallet with existing clients and client acquisition. As one of the most important drivers for client satisfaction, client communication, done right, can help you retain the clients you have, grow your relationships and appeal to new clients.
The advisor-client relationship is based on expectations around performance and service. Meeting and exceeding expectations is the best way to create raving fans. On the flip side, failing to live up to expectations is one of the fastest ways to lose clients. While performance is not always in your control, service and communication are. Providing the level of service they expect and desire, especially during times of poor performance, can help you keep and grow quality relationships. But it is important, as your practice grows, to make sure you are setting the right expectations and servicing your clients with a repeatable process. At the end of the day, your service and communication should:
- Distinguish your value from the market performance
- Deliver an experience that strengthens the relationship and builds loyalty
- Build "advocates" who want to refer you to others
Ready to Add Effective Communication to Your Practice?
"With performance cited as the primary reason for [client] departure, advisors need to more proactively communicate with clients to head off performance-based objectives. Though investors will generally not be thrilled with underperformance, being kept informed on why it is happening and how it affects their long-term plan can help maintain advisors' relationships through trying periods."
- Cerulli Quantitative Update - Advisor Metrics 2009
"In this business you don't get fired for bad performance - you get fired for bad service."
- T.S., South
Helping clients decide which retirement savings vehicles are right for them is a great way to gain client loyalty as well as referrals. Clients can now use Roth accounts in addition to traditional IRAs and 401(k)s to diversify their tax situation. Advice on how to access Roth accounts and how to incorporate them into portfolios will be highly sought after now and in the future, especially among the high net worth. Help your clients decide what retirement accounts are right for them. Let BlackRock help you start key conversations with clients surrounding retirement accounts and tax diversification.
Help your clients understand the new world of retirement. People around the world are living longer and the number of retirees is growing. Let BlackRock assist as you provide your clients with guidance on their retirement life path. Use our tools to start the retirement conversation and help clients achieve the retirement they envision. Encourage your clients to visit the new BlackRock Retirement Center for practical and relevant age-based ideas and insights to help them better prepare for retirement in what BlackRock has called a "New World of Investing."