A little more than a year after launching Retirement Ready, a retirement income program for advisors, John Hancock Financial Network, a national network of independent firms, today announced the launch of a new iPad application and updates to the program.

The Retirement Ready iPad app is an interactive tool designed to help advisors introduce the retirement income planning topic and engage prospects and clients with educational material. The app features quizzes and other interactive exercises that can be customized to fit each client’s situation cover their retirement vision, differences between the accumulation and distribution phases and key retirement planning risks such as longevity and market sequence risk.

Bruce Harrington, John Hancock Financial Network vice president of sales and business development, said he interviewed advisors when the firm started working on the retirement income program two years ago. “They said they knew what to do but had no way to explain it or articulate what they were doing for clients,” Harrington said.

Yet, retirement income planning represents a major need for many Americans, Harrington said. “This tool is perfect for assisting a financial professional to have a personal, engaging and useful discussion about retirement income with clients,” said Harrington.

Currently available on the iTunes store, the app is one of the first to go through FINRA for approval making it compliance-friendly. Certain aspects, such as on-demand videos, are available to the public, while the rest is available only to John Hancock advisors. During a demonstration of the app on Tuesday, Harrington showed how disclosure text pops up as an advisor approaches certain portions of the app such as products.

And products (not specific ones) do come up because the app, like The Retirement Ready Program, focuses on the product allocation retirement approach, as developed and written about by author and expert Moshe Milevsky. Though Milevsky is independent of John Hancock, the Retirement Ready program uses the RSQ Analyzer, a product allocation tool based on the unique methodology developed by Milevsky’s firm, the QWeMa Group.

The Retirement Ready platform features this virtual tool and allows advisors to customize it for each client to help them conceptualize their retirement income needs. More in-depth than the app, the online tool, allows advisors to incorporate the client’s unique information as they work through the product allocation tool and provide them with a customized and FINRA approved client report.

According to Harrington, about 80 percent of advisors in the John Hancock network are using the Retirement Ready program, and that’s not even the best part. “We’re thrilled about the adoption so far, but we’re even more excited that we’ve given advisors a tool that can actually help their clients,” Harrington said.