Advisers are seeking new tools and products that will complement the strategies they now have in place for retirement income planning, instead of replacing them, according to new research from Cerulli Associates.
What advisers need is some sort of hybrid product that successfully integrates asset management with guaranteed income, said Tom Modestino, senior analyst at Cerulli who wrote the report: “State of Retirement Income: Addressable Opportunity, Strategies and Future Outlook.”
The problem? Nobody really has this ideal solution yet on offer, Modestino says. One of the biggest difficulties stems from the fact that this would combine competing philosophies around risk, he says. Part of a client’s portfolio “needs to be slated for growth, and part needs to be taken off the table and [put into safer investments],” he says.
To be sure, Modestino says, there are a lot of individual products that can accomplish the various goals. But, there isn’t a good platform that brings them together in the most beneficial way for the investor, he says.
Another major obstacle in retirement income planning cited by advisers in the survey, is the complexity and excessive time required. The packaged products have an array of complicated features and protections that “make it hard to understand their inner workings from an adviser point of view,” states the report. Even basic annuity products “have inflexible contracts and commission-based compensation that flies in the face of the growing channel of fee-based advisers,” the report says.
Other costs that advisers often overlook when doing retirement planning for clients are, surprisingly, healthcare and taxes. “Those are the two largest expenses [for retirees],” he says. These are areas where advisers can differentiate themselves if they are more mindful of clients’ needs, he says.
The research focused on the investable assets of investors age 55 to 70, what it dubbed “addressable assets.” At $9.1 trillion, this market has the most potential for advisers, for offering retirement strategies, Modestino says. The under-55 crowd (with investable assets of $8 trillion) is more concerned with wealth accumulation and does not have the extra twist of needing as much income, and those over 70. The older set has $4 trillion in investable assets and are pretty much set for their portfolio strategies, Modestino says.