As an advertising tag line for an ETF company asks right now: “Are your fixed-income streams broken?”

It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. Financial Planning’s February cover story offers the savviest strategies that top planners and other financial professionals are using to put the fix back into their clients’ fixed income.

The need for dependable income couldn’t be stronger right now. According to the AARP, every day another 8,000 Boomers reach the traditional retirement age of 65. More will continue to do so at that rate through 2029.

Many of them had been counting on distributions from pensions or IRAs that have dropped substantially in value since the economic downturn of 2008. They are now looking for solutions to fill in the gap.

In most cases, the strategies center on finding income streams that won’t be susceptible to stock market volatility. Many planners are finding that their older clients especially are willing to trade upside for the comfort of not having to track the Dow every day as it moves up and down.

As one planner said, “They really want that peace of mind.”

Our story contains recommendations suited to client profiles ranging from middle class to high net worth. We cover the bond waterfront, explaining the role that sovereign bonds denominated in foreign currencies and emerging market bonds can play when mixed in with treasuries. In the insurance world, some variable annuities can guarantee set income streams, regardless of the performance of underlying assets. These are proving popular as replacements for lost pension income.

Charitably-minded clients can get a one-two punch from their giving by using trusts and annuities that will benefit their causes while locking in reliable income for themselves for the rest of their lives.

At a time when some people are frustrated at the challenge of building reliable income, it turns out that there is an abundance of strategies that might be the right ones for your clients.

Ann Marsh writes for Financial Planning.



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