As COVID-19 continues to wreak worldwide havoc, infecting and killing thousands daily, the uncertainty of the stock market has left investors feeling scared and overwhelmed.

But even with the market’s volatility, retirement planning is still manageable–especially for clients who enlist the help of a financial advisor, said Dan Keady, chief financial planning strategist at TIAA said in an interview with Financial Advisor.

“Going through this COVID-19 [crisis] is unique. None of us are prepared for it,” Keady said. “And if you are not anxious, it would be kind of ridiculous."

Keady shared strategies on how people in all stages of their careers can ensure that their finances and retirement plans are in the best possible place.

Advisors need to remember that people in the late stage of their career are facing the reality of retirement, he said. It’s the reality that they are getting closer and closer to needing to replace their paychecks and draw money from an account. Advisors need to focus on an income plan for these types of clients, he said.

While increasing the proportion of their portfolio in bonds and certain guaranteed assets may help stabilize investment income, advisors need to broaden the conversation beyond just asset allocation, he said. “They need to know what their Social Security strategy is going to be because that’s their first layer of guaranteed income," he said. Then pensions have to be figured into the plan, he siad.

“Then think through how close that is in covering the essential expenses of those individuals in retirement, and if there is a gap, it’s very important to add in a layer of guaranteed income,” he said, noting  that annuities are one option that can help prevent a draw down of investment accounts.

Because Social Security is such a vital source of income in retirement, it’s important to have a claiming strategy, he said. Clients may want to work an extra year or two, which would increase savings and Social Security checks. “And then making sure that you feel comfortable that you have enough guaranteed income to create an income floor that you could never drop below,” he said.

Keady said because workers in the middle of their careers have more goals than other generations, advisors need to ensure that their asset allocations are in sync with their goals, their time horizons and their tolerance for risk.

For those just starting their careers and with little experience with the markets, the most important thing for an advisor to do is to educate them on the nature of market volatility as they put money into their 401(k)s. “No one of course was expecting COVID-19, but the fact of the matter is the market goes down many times,” he said.

First « 1 2 » Next