July 26, 2012
--- Financial services firms are making adviser education a
priority and expanding the scope of retirement goals, a survey found. ---
According to the Hearts & Wallets 2012 Retirement Income
Competitive Landscape Survey, which captured retirement income priorities of
nearly two dozen financial services firms in spring 2012, financial firms said adviser
education was most important (32%) or very important (27%) in helping with
retirement income planning.
“I think people are realizing that the adviser is really the
linchpin here,” Chris Brown, principal at Hearts & Wallets, told PLANADVISER.
This emphasis on adviser education seems to be increasing,
Brown said, as 2012’s survey showed the highest results for adviser education
being “most important.” The same question in a 2010 survey found that 22% of
firms said adviser education was most important and 35% said it was very
important. In 2007, 27% of survey respondents said it was most important, and
37% said it was very important.
Hearts & Wallets found that advisers need more support
to execute expanded scope, and illustrate tradeoffs, annuity optimization and
advice on account drawdown and savings. It
also saw a trend in offerings being expanded to present the whole financial
picture, including health (life and long-term care insurance included), taxes,
real estate, lifestyle considerations (estate planning and couples’ dialogue),
and optimal timing on how to take Social Security.