In light of the recent market downturn and the difficult position that has left millions of near-retirees, Charles Schwab has launched a new suite of advice and tools specifically geared to investors within 10 years of retirement, called Real Life Retirement Services. Built as a type of social network, the accompanying website gives investors a place to ask questions and share their own experiences, including a survey that shows them how their retirement expectations compare with their peers.

“We have a different point of view from other financial firms in how we approach retirement,” said Schwab Vice President Mark Jamison. “For most people, retirement isn’t about hang-gliding or hitting the golf course every day. People dream of balance—enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, covering healthcare costs, spending time with family and friends, and making sure they won’t run out of money. We chose to build a service that addresses real life challenges people are facing today, which typically don’t involve a life sailing around the world.”

The service begins with a complimentary consultation with a Schwab professional on what an individual can do to close the gap between income and expenses by focusing on how to build additional income streams into their portfolio—be that through a dividend-paying mutual fund, a fixed-income fund or an annuity. The Schwab financial adviser will also make recommendations on which investments to draw down first and when to begin taking Social Security payments.

Schwab also conducted a retirement survey among 1,000 people in early January and found that 26% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 do not know whose retirement planning advice to trust. In addition, 33% said they were confused about weighing the immediate marketplace alongside their long-term goals.

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