It’s probably not surprising, after the tumult and chaos of the previous three years, that 2023 has been yet another year of uncertainty in the realm of financial planning and investing.
Change has been constant, shaping a year in which financial professionals faced the challenge of guiding clients through regulatory shifts and economic fluctuations — often at the same time.
Market volatility, interest rate hikes, sticky inflation, and the ongoing effects of the SECURE Act 2.0 converged, pressing professionals to reflect and recalibrate their strategies for helping clients build more financially secure retirements.
As we take a closer look at the year behind us, it’s wise to consider how unforeseen change and ongoing uncertainty have impacted clients, their planning needs and their attitudes toward financial services. With that in mind, we’re presenting some of our top articles and key takeaways from 2023.
Helping clients adapt to constant change: market conditions, laws, rules and regulations
The banking crisis of early 2023 may feel like long ago, but pervasive anxiety can have an enduring effect on investors. It’s important to address emotions in times of financial uncertainty — and annuities may play a key role for some clients.
- Volatile markets? How and when to communicate with clients
- 20 back-to-basics questions to gauge client optimism
- Social Security shortfall? Annuities may be an answer
New laws and regulations drafted to address the effects of high inflation can impact everything from tax rates to required minimum distributions. Clients may need guidance adjusting their individual planning and investing strategies, too.
- Client conversations about the SECURE 2.0 Act
- The Inflation Reduction Act’s impact on retirees’ healthcare costs
Supporting working-age clients as they adapt to change
Given the changes to the broader economic landscape, some clients may have experienced changes in their employer-provided retirement benefits. Navigating these changes demands strategic foresight and a long-term view.
- When an employer stops contributing to a 401(k): 5 ways for investors to respond
- Questions to ask when a client receives an early retirement offer
- Remember these 3 employer retirement plan rollover opportunities
Economic uncertainty impacts everyone…differently
Demographic differences like gender, marital status, race and sexual orientation influence financial and retirement planning, too. These differences highlight diverse challenges and priorities, from women’s longevity risk and income disparities to cultural and systemic barriers encountered by many racial and ethnic groups.
- How financial views & worries are affected by ethnicity: new study
- 5 Social Security facts women need to know
For married and same-sex couples, financial planning may involve navigating unique legal and tax implications. Clients may benefit from tailored strategies to meet their financial goals.
- 10 essential retirement questions to ask married couples
- Social security policies regarding benefits for same-sex partners
Meeting clients’ needs across generations
Every generation brings distinct expectations and experiences to the table, which can also shape their retirement saving and planning needs. While baby boomers may focus more closely on wealth preservation and securing a steady income, younger generations may face retirement planning headwinds like student debt repayment and high housing costs.
As the multi-generational wealth transfer continues over years to come, financial professionals need to be open and flexible — not only to new ways of connecting, communicating and demonstrating value to clients across generations, but also to the changing financial landscape and distinct challenges each age group faces.
- Many Americans don’t know who to trust for financial planning
- 4 things Millennial investors expect from a financial advisor
- Can Gen X and millennials catch up to boomers?
Bringing a sense of optimism to retirement planning
Choices such as using retirement savings to pay for a child’s tuition can derail retirement plans more than clients may realize. In addition to taking a bite out of the nest egg, tapping retirement savings early reduces its growth potential, which can add financial pressure in later years.
As clients near retirement, their financial picture often shifts and focus moves from wealth accumulation to managing risks like outliving their savings, health care costs and market volatility. Clients may look for help establishing a stable income stream as their retirement horizon nears.
The “new normal” of finance and retirement planning has been characterized by ongoing uncertainty and change. This has prompted many to rethink long-held assumptions about investing and financial security, with annuities emerging as a valuable tool to add a sense of stability in an otherwise fluctuating financial landscape.
- Is the “4% rule” foolproof — or is it smart to take a second look?
- Annuity myths & misconceptions your clients may believe
- 3 approaches to help clients leverage risk control
- How to talk with clients about the benefits of a second annuity
It’s true: Change is the only constant. And that’s why TruStage™ is proud to offer innovative annuity products that are easy to understand and explain to clients while delivering valuable benefits to help meet their retirement and financial planning needs.
In 2023, we announced enhancements to our ZoneChoice registered index-linked annuity, and for the fifth consecutive year, TruStage annuity products were featured among Barron’s top 100 list.
Get help keeping up with the changes
As we make the shift to a new year, stay informed and prepared with updates, resources, and products to help your clients remain adaptable and ready — for whatever changes await. It’s easy to stay up to date when you subscribe to our weekly blog.
And remember, your wholesaler is ready to help, now and in the future. Reach out to the TruStage Annuities Solutions Desk to learn more about our products and valuable resources to help serve your clients and grow your practice. Find your team here or call 877.345.GROW (4769), option 1.