Five Questions Retirees Should Ask Their Advisors: LIMRA

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Windsor, Conn., Apr. 12, 2010 – A recent study by LIMRA uncovered that most advisors don’t always counsel their clients about some critical risks that could impact their financial security in retirement.

“While most advisors are very conscientious about managing their clients’ assets in retirement, many may not address some of the key issues that could jeopardize their clients’ long-term financial well-being,” said Marie Rice, corporate vice president and director of LIMRA Retirement Research. “Basic retirement planning should include things like: when a client should retire, planning expenses and income in retirement, ordering assets from which withdrawals should be made, and planning any required minimum distributions. Forty-two percent retirees said that their advisors provide advice on these specific issues.”

The report, The Positioning of Assets in Retirement, surveyed retirees aged 55-80, with $200,000 in household investible assets who have been retired between for at least 1 to 10 years. LIMRA researchers found that fewer than 4 in 10 retirees have some sort of plan that mitigated the risk their money would run out during retirement and nearly 25 percent have more than $100,000 in debt.

LIMRA researchers have identified five questions that pre-retirees and retirees should ask their advisors when developing their retirement plans:

  • When should I retire? Typically, people make the decision to retire five years before they actually retire. The decision should not be made without considering all of the financial implications, including health care coverage and other benefits, current financial obligations and how those obligations will be met. Pre-retirees also should have a contingency plan in place in case of unforeseen events such as a layoff or illness.
  • How do I plan for my expenses and income? Advisors can help their clients identify monthly and annual expenses, as well as possible additional unplanned expenses they will have in retirement and develop a strategy to create income sources (pension, savings withdrawals, Social Security benefits, annuity payouts, etc.) that will pay for the expenses while protecting their clients’ long-term financial security.
  • Which funds should I draw from first? Most people understand the importance of diversifying their financial portfolio but when it comes to deciding how to convert their savings into income, many need advice to ensure they are making wise choices-considering tax implications and long-term investment strategies.
  • What required minimum distributions do I need to perform and when? As part of their financial portfolio, many retirees invest in various types of annuities to continue to grow their savings. But some annuities have required minimum distributions so it’s important to know when these distributions need to occur to avoid certain penalties and adjust your finances to minimize the amount of taxes needed to be paid.
  • What risks should I plan for when I retire? LIMRA research has shown that retirees aren’t always aware of all the possible risks they face in retirement. Advisors can help their clients protect themselves against risks like longevity, illness, inflation and market volatility that could compromise their financial security.

“Our research has found that less than half of retirees have a written retirement plan to ensure their financial security throughout their retirement,” noted Rice. “We hope these questions will inspire retirees and their advisors to develop a plan that will enable the retirees to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.”


LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at