Age Is Just A Number. So Is Retirement Income.

How Financial Professionals Can Help Clients Navigate Both.
Marc Socol, Chief Revenue Officer, AuguStar Retirement
Marc Socol, Chief Revenue Officer, AuguStar Retirement

Mick Jagger will turn 81 on July 26 – right on the heels of The Rolling Stones’ 2024 North American Tour. Who is the Queen of Twitter (now “X”)? Dionne Warwick, age 83. Supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice landed the cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia in 2023. She was 91 years old at the time and is still in demand.

It’s a new era of aging that validates the adage: “Growing up is mandatory. Growing old is optional.”

Aging has a new face and a new attitude, and not just for rock stars and supermodels, but for clients of all stripes. It’s been redefined from within by those living it today, and from outside by advances in healthcare, technological innovation and evolving societal norms surrounding what it means to be “old.” It’s a development that alters traditional ideas about saving and investing and transforms the role of financial professionals and income solutions providers. It’s a retirement revolution that comes with both opportunities and challenges.

How are financial professionals adapting to this new normal, where 70 is the new 50? How can professionals provide comprehensive support to their clients in this new environment? As much as things are changing, one thing remains constant: communication is the foundation of success.

Clients will be reassured their financial professional is thinking beyond the typical “what’s your retirement number” considerations.

Marc Socol, Chief Revenue Officer, AuguStar Retirement

Ask The Right Questions

Engaging clients by asking thoughtful, relevant questions about longevity is central to having the right type of discussion that will allow financial professionals to deliver the support and solutions clients expect and deserve. In this evolving environment, knowing what these questions should be can be difficult and is dependent on the individual client.

Below are just five of the many impactful questions that representatives can use to jumpstart these important conversations with clients. An added benefit? Clients will be reassured their financial professional is thinking beyond the typical “what’s your retirement number” considerations and looking to provide more comprehensive and relevant guidance for the future. They will appreciate and value a financial professional who sees them as more than an account.

  1. Do you have any goals that you have not had the opportunity to pursue yet? How can we get the ball rolling?
  2. How much does your family know about your financial and health directives? Would your spouse or children know how to find all your important financial and health-related documents? They may need to know more than you are comfortable sharing. Can I help you work through your concerns and help you start the conversation?
  3. If you plan to step away from the workplace, what will your day look like? What can we do now to build a framework that allows you to seamlessly put these plans in motion when – and if – the time comes to retire?
  4. What does success – financial and otherwise – mean to you now? In 10 years? In 20 years? Do you feel you are on track? If not, let’s work to get you there.
  5. It’s imperative that sources of predictable income from annuities, employer-sponsored plans and other sources, stand the test of time. Social Security is an important part of the retirement income mix, even for those with means, and should not be overlooked. Have you looked at various income scenarios to offer you peace of mind today and over 30 years from now?

      Fuel For Reinvention

      This last question is an important one as it can fuel and support your client’s other retirement initiatives and is one of the most important questions you, as a financial professional, can help your client answer.

      While assets and income are imperative elements of every chapter of life, other components require increased focus as we progress through life: health, community involvement and financial security. The very definition of retirement is changing. For many, it’s not a time for stepping down or away but is instead an opportunity to reinvent themselves – a second act that they want to get right.

      For many, retirement is an opportunity to reinvent themselves.

      Marc Socol, Chief Revenue Officer, AuguStar Retirement

      As a result, financial professionals must reinvent themselves as well. Just as stock picking has given way to financial planning, financial representatives must take a holistic view to provide support to clients.

      For clients, it’s not about aging, it’s about meaningful longevity. For financial professionals, it’s about delivering appropriate solutions, information and guidance to clients whose “golden years” may last longer than they ever imagined – and working with the right partners to support those efforts.

      Marc Socol is Chief Revenue Officer for AuguStar Retirement, a member of the Constellation family of companies.

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