CHICAGO -- The difference between what a client thinks about retirement and what is realistic about retirement might be different. And the difference between what one client thinks about retirement and what another another client believes is most certainly different.
LIMRA learned plenty about these differences with its new research into middle-class consumers, completed in conjunction with consulting firm Maddock Douglas. Their research was discussed during a workshop Sunday kicking off 2016 LIMRA Annual Conference in Chicago.
"Retirement is very unique to each individual person," said Scott Kallenbach, director of strategic research for LIMRA. "It's all about being able to do some traveling, not having to worry about paying the bills, being able to go see the grandkids. ... It's not about having a luxurious lifestyle and having a house on the beach."
The statistics are grim: 33 percent of consumers don't think they will be able to retire at all. How to reach the mass middle market and get people on the path to retirement is the challenge. Advisors can go a long way to meeting the need by migrating toward more holistic planning that is as unique as their individual client, said Maria Ferrante-Schepis, managing principle with Maddock Douglas.
"You can't paint everyone with the same brush," she said. "They need advice that's individualized."
The study surveyed more than 3,200 people. Kallenbach pulled 10 respondents who shared a nearly identical profile, and all 10 had different expectations for retirement, he said, further proof of how there is no general one-size-fits-all approach.
One big positive came out of the study, researchers said: respondents want human advisors. Robo advice can supplement, but not replace human contact.
"We're not at all convinced that (robo advice) is the answer," Ferrante-Schepis said, "or that there even is one answer."
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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