Retirement: An Evolving Conversation

RetireOne CEO and co-founder David Stone published an article for entitled, “Reframing the Retirement Conversation” which argues that the financial industry’s focus on the size of a client’s retirement savings, their return on investment, and increasingly outdated rules of thumb – like the 4% rule – may be doing more harm to clients than good. Stone asserts that it’s an advisor’s responsibility to take a more holistic, goal-oriented approach, to better help clients understand what they want to accomplish in retirement and how to get there.

As advisors, our job isn’t just to ensure that our clients’ assets grow as much as possible. Our job is to advise as well as manage their wealth for them. Not only are we obligated to help them build a large enough retirement portfolio, but also advise on how best to deploy their wealth in retirement.

Shortly after “Reframing the Retirement Conversation” was published, MarketWatch published, “‘Where should I live and what am I going to do?’ Retirement advice we’re not getting from financial advisers,” for which they interviewed Stone.

David Stone, the San Francisco founder and chief executive of RetireOne (a platform for fee-based insurance solutions), noted in his piece “Reframing the Retirement Conversation” that the idea isn’t to help clients build a huge pile of wealth they hoard; it’s to help them live their best possible life.

“Most investment advisers tend to manage money for total return and growing the nest egg,” Stone said. He’d like to see advisers spend more time helping people have better retirements, which may mean spending some of their savings.

The bottom line: as retirement horizons grow longer and decumulation help is harder to come by, it’s the advisor’s responsibility to ensure that clients know not only how to effectively save for retirement, but how best to manage and deploy their assets in retirement. It’s necessary to advise clients on how to spend their money, and how to set themselves up for success in retirement by ensuring they won’t outlive it.