Financial Landscape Forcing Shift in Retirement Planning

Article excerpt

Byline: Larry Barrett

The stunning decline in property values across most of the country, a prolonged recession and plain-old negligence and shortsightedness on the part of American workers have combined to make retirement more a fantasy than a reality for tens of millions of baby boomers.

In fact, the number of people 65 and older will increase 79% between now and 2030, meaning another 75 million new retirees - or people who would love to be retired - will be looking for help with retirement income and investing. Faced also with the likelihood of more expensive health care just when they need it, many are terrified they'll run out of money long before they die.

Financial advisers charged with getting all these boomers headed toward a comfortable retirement need to open their minds to new investment strategies that defy conventional wisdom, said Dave Paulsen, Transamerica Capital Management's chief sales officer.

"The retirement landscape is unlike anything we've ever seen before, with new challenges that are changing the way retirees receive retirement income," he said.

Paulsen said financial professionals need to appreciate that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to an individual's retirement plan and traditional methods that advisers have relied on for years - including the so-called 4% rule or the "bucket" approach to retirement planning - need to be augmented with diverse and more creative tools and investment products.

"This is especially important if you consider the state of the equity markets over the past decade," he said. "Most clients can't afford another market downturn."

Health care is a huge issue for retiring boomers. …