The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America created a consumer-oriented, educational website to help investors start thinking about and planning for retirement.
The site, www.myretirementwalk.com, offers tools, infographics and guidance for people at several life stages using an animated, interactive experience to provide financial planning and retirement insights. Major milestones—a person’s first job out of college, mid-career promotions, marriage, starting a family, buying a home and preparing for retirement—are guideposts along the way.
Visitors can select an avatar based on age and gender and then guide that avatar on a simulated walk. The site offers advice about saving, managing debt and planning for the future for each stage.
My Retirement Walk is also an engagement tool for financial professionals looking to start more meaningful conversations with clients and prospects about retirement and financial planning. Only 13% of Americans report that they are very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement – according to the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) – making it is essential for financial professionals to directly confront their clients’ educational and planning needs. My Retirement Walk can be an engaging and informative tool for advisers.
Guardian developed the website and tools in collaboration with behavioral finance expert Daniel Crosby of IncBlot Behavioral Finance. Because it can be difficult for people to break free of day-to-day responsibilities to focus on future financial needs, Crosby and Guardian leveraged the principles of behavioral finance to make the site entertaining and educational.
The goal was to help people think about their futures without feeling overwhelmed. Educated consumers are more likely to take action, especially when they can clearly envision themselves older and in retirement. Many tools, including infographics, articles and calculators, can be found through the resources tab on the site.
A blog feed on the site addresses a range of retirement-oriented topics. Crosby is the main contributor and, with other authors, will offer insights and observations on issues such as how to drive better retirement outcomes, how to develop attainable action plans for retirement saving and how to set financial goals for each of life’s stages.
In “How to Create a Retirement Action Plan,” Crosby suggests individuals move beyond the bucket list and think about items such as housing, health care and estate planning. He cautions against letting a 401(k) or other retirement plan go on auto-pilot, and suggests people work with an adviser to set and achieve financial goals. ‘’ More posts on personal finance issues will be added regularly, a Guardian spokesman said.
The website address is myretirementwalk.com.