Retirement income is becoming an increasingly important topic within the financial services community as baby boomers comprehend the shift from accumulation of assets to distribution that happens once retirement starts. This is especially true for “transition boomers,” those 55 to 65 that are closing in on retirement or those just beginning a new life without the familiarity of a regular paycheck from their employer.
Often the topic of retirement income is not discussed with clients until retirement is officially underway. Many Americans look to their financial professionals to help them build a large nest egg for retirement, rather than secure a stream of income. Delaying the retirement income conversation until retirement begins can potentially limit the opportunity to build a level of certainty into their retirement portfolio and help reduce the risk of volatility brought about by unpredictable market performance.
Although knowledge about annuities is still low overall, with 75 percent of transition boomer respondents reporting a general lack of understanding about the products, the guidance of a financial professional can have a significant effect on confidence in understanding the annuity basics. Thirty-five percent of transition boomers working with a financial professional felt they could explain the basics about annuities while only 20 percent of those without help felt the same way.
As a result, of the 25 percent of transition boomers who reported owning an annuity product, nearly half of that group (47 percent) came from those who work with a financial professional with only 18 percent coming from those without the benefit of professional assistance.