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Let’s Talk Retirement Plans

AUG. 02, 2019

Clients want to be confident in their retirement readiness and financial future. And being confident can come from having a plan. When that happens, it affects everything — it’s all connected.

Among all the retiree clients who currently work with an advisor, only 35% have a formal plan. Simply having a relationship with an advisor is not enough to create retirement confidence. The sense of security comes when the advisor creates a formal retirement income plan for the client.1

This means there’s a huge opportunity, and it needs addressed. How do you know if your clients have a formal plan? I’ve outlined a few key points.

  • You’ve met within the last 12-months
  • You’ve put together a written plan, which includes income needs and life-stage goals
  • You’ve discussed net worth and how much their savings will generate in retirement
  • A formal plan is measurable

At this point I should say that a lump sum of savings doesn’t equal a plan. Clients might look at their savings and think that means they have a plan, but that’s not true. You can help them do better.

With traditional pensions becoming largely a thing of the past and government benefits possibly being reduced, many Americans are facing uncertainty about what sources of income will be available to pay retirement and care expenses as they age. This leads me to think that a part of any clients’ retirement income plan is guaranteed income. The demand for guaranteed lifetime income is nearly $780 billion.2 That’s something clients can feel confident about, especially combined with a formal plan.

How you can help

Ten thousand Americans turn age 65 every day, and by 2026 nearly $32 trillion will be available for creating retirement income.3 That’s not too far away, and with this many people retiring, I think you should have as many formal plan conversations as you can.
This is your chance to turn a need into an opportunity. You can differentiate yourself by educating clients about their income replacement goals and how important it is to have a formal plan. Once they have one, you can help remind them about it by:

  • Acknowledging the importance of income in retirement
  • Letting clients see it
  • Reviewing it together
  • Assessing whether it’s accurate and measurable
  • Making any necessary changes

I hope you realize that your efforts are toward fulfilling a noble purpose of helping America prepare for and live in retirement. And for that I thank you.

How Nationwide can help

Talking with clients about their financial plan — and making sure they have one — can help provide a realistic understanding of their assets and expenses. Working together, advisors can also develop strategies to help offset clients’ financial risks associated with health care, long-term care and other expenses.

We’re proud of our wide range of products, especially those that offer guaranteed income, and our professional thought leaders with deep industry experience. The Nationwide Retirement Institute® offers insights on topics including tax-efficient retirement planning, Social Security, health care in retirement and retirement income planning. For support with more complex challenges, the Advanced Consulting Group is a great resource.


  • 1

    “The Differences They Make: An Advisor, An Annuity, or a Formal Plan in a Retiree’s Life (A Study of Retirees),” Jafor Iqbal for LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (January 2018).

  • 2

    “The Retirement Income Reference Book,” LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (2018), Fourth Edition.