RIIA® News – The Totality of Holistic Retirement Income Planning in the U.S.

Last week’s solar eclipse was a unique experience that professionals and regular citizens prepared and planned for over months and years. Experiencing the totality of the eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many in America who found themselves properly positioned in the path of totality.

But what does that have to do with retirement income planning?

Let’s start with who was impacted by the eclipse. Everyone, to some degree. And “retirement” – that period after working for a living and before death – will happen to everyone, to some degree.

For some, this will be a happy coincidence with very little planning needed. Like those who lived in the eclipse path, they’ll be in the right place at the right time as the result of choices made long ago or without conscience planning. Their retirement plan will be the equivalent of buying a pair of solar eclipse glasses and setting up the lawn chair in the yard.

For most, however, lots of preparation was involved to be sure they were properly positioned for the experience. For this special event, they booked hotel or camping space months in advance, put down hefty deposits, and scheduled time off work. Others decided at the last minute to hop in the car and drive to Oregon – they were stuck in traffic and slept in their car or paid exorbitant room rates if they were lucky to still find one. These last minute folks experienced the totality of the eclipse, but not as comfortably as the long-term planners. Planning for retirement can happen in the same way, with similar outcomes.

Holistic retirement income planning encompasses the client’s household balance sheet, their assets and liabilities, with strategic decisions made about investments and products that cover risk retention, management, pooling, and avoidance. The outcome of the plan is measured against the client’s needs and wants and adjusted as the realities of retirement evolve.

The main difference to preparing for an eclipse? In our modern world, it was possible to determine the exact timing for this event and we knew exactly what was going to happen. The major source of uncertainty? Weather. So your planning was to consider whether to take the chances of morning fog at the Oregon coast, pick your spot further inland with higher probability of a clear sky or fly to Nebraska and “raise the floor” with about a 90% chance for clear views. Certainty was only achievable for the few overfunded ones able to afford a charter plane to take them above any potential cloud cover or haziness.

Does your planning service provide the “totality” your clients expect? Compare it to RIIA’s Retirement Management Analyst® (RMA®) program and Procedural Prudence mapSM. If you’re missing key components, join the next RMA online class beginning September 11th. Registration is open!

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