In this our fifth in a series of articles about helping clients in the Accumulation Phase of Retirement Planning, we note that clients will often be unaware of or ignore the potential risks of premature death, short- and long-term disability, casualty losses, lawsuits, retirement plan security, unplanned estate distribution issues, etc. Such events can severely jeopardize future retirement security for the client and/or the client’s spouse and family.

Motivating the Client to Address This Issue

As a financial professional, even if you are able to assist your clients in crafting a masterful retirement plan to accumulate sufficient retirement capital, these efforts can be for naught if you fail to point out and help the client resolve the potential risks of unexpected events and the need for coordination of the disposition of retirement assets with the client’s estate plan. Carefully crafted questions will create awareness and a sense of urgency about resolving the issue:

  • How have your advisors helped you to evaluate the personal and financial risks associated with unexpected future events, such as death or disability?
  • How have you protected against an untimely death, leaving your spouse with insufficient funds for retirement?
  • How have your advisors helped you to mitigate the potential risks that could derail your future financial independence?
  • How have your advisors assisted you in efficiently coordinating the ownership of your assets and beneficiary designations of your retirement plan assets with your estate planning objectives?

Key Actions to Help the Client Address the Risks That Can Derail Their Accumulation Plan

Sufficient resources, insurance, and/or strategies should be in place to efficiently address the following risks during the Accumulation Phase:

  • Death of either spouse
  • Disability of either spouse
  • Substantial medical or assisted care expenses
  • Substantial asset losses (home, auto, etc.)
  • Liability exposures
  • Loss of employment
  • Potential Investment losses

In addition, evaluation of the client’s estate plan should serve as a guide to helping determine and possibly amend the ownership and beneficiary arrangements of retirement assets.

For those who wish to learn more about critical issues in retirement planning, check out Greene Consulting’s Retirement Planning Program.

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