MetLife Offers Guidance on How to Switch Gears

A recently published white paper from MetLife offers guidance for advisers about how to help clients transition from the accumulation phase to the drawdown phase in retirement.  

The MetLife report, “Engaging Clients in a New Way: Putting the Findings to Behavioral Strategies to Work,” explains how the behaviors one has while saving for retirement should not stay the same in post-retirement years.

“There’s a delicate balance of logic, emotions, experience, and intuition that advisers today must incorporate into their practices to inspire action and confidence in their clients so they can act,” said Joseph W. Jordan, senior vice president, Behavioral Finance Strategies and one of the authors of the report.

The report examines behavioral finance in the decision-making process. One example is the concept of “buying low and selling high;” a logical decision among investors.But as seen following the financial crisis of 2008, very few behaved accordingly.

“It becomes the task of the financial adviser to help understand and manage such behaviors, recognizing that their clients will base their decisions not only on what is sound, but also on how it makes them feel. In short, to grow and develop their businesses, advisers need to understand the clients’ emotions, help them come to decisions on their own terms, and inspire confidence so their clients can act on their best intensions,” added Jordan.

To facilitate the process, MetLife is offering a general questionnaire for advisers to complete with their clients to shed light on their clients’ income mindset. MetLife also has a similar tool for consumers called the Income Selector. The tool takes individuals through a series of questions to help uncover their attitudes towards traditional investments and guaranteed sources of income. Based on these answers, it suggests products and strategies that might be appropriate. Results from the Income Selector can be printed and shared with a financial adviser, or a link is provided to contact a financial professional to discuss specific financial products.

The white paper is available here