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Heard In The Hallways

Question: Is retirement planning and advice the same thing as financial planning and advice? Why or why not?

“The two terms are not the same, because implementing the cash flow aspect of retirement (retirement planning) is different from preparing for it (financial planning). Most advisors have mastered the financial planning aspect of their business, and have done so for a long time. But it’s different now with the boomers approaching retirement. I am not sure that the advisors have adapted their practices to incorporate retirement planning. This is an issue because the window is short. If the advisors do not provide retirement planning, their boomer clients will seek it somewhere else — for instance, at a bank or a financial institution.”

–Eric Lemaire, senior marketing consultant, Desjardins Insurance

“I’d say that retirement planning is an important subset of financial planning, which is broader. Retirement planning is an aspect of financial planning that everyone can relate to, since everyone hopes to retire, to sustain themselves in retirement. This is particularly important since the traditional defined benefit pension plans are going the way of the dinosaurs. To me, financial planning is more focused on the accumulation side of the business, but it’s broader than retirement planning because it also addresses things like protection needs, investment orientation, asset allocation and estate planning.”

–Judy Zaiken, assistant vice president-strategy and business development, MassMutual Financial Group

“Traditionally, employers have not provided lot of help and concern about their employees’ retirement, and the distribution side of financial planning has not been a focus of financial planning. Retirement planning focuses on the source of guaranteed income in retirement.”

–Robert Rich, vice president and actuary in product management, Horace Mann

“Retirement planning is a subset of financial planning and it is more specific than financial planning. Retirement planning focuses on income, while financial planning has an accumulation focus and it can include a variety of other things such as college planning through financial prudence. However, retirement planning is probably still a new word and concept for advisors whose primary activity still focuses on accumulation.”

–Shaun Opperman, assistant vice president and director of product management, Symetra





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