How FAs can help clients smash retirement planning roadblocks

Even the best intentions don’t always lead to action OSC study shows

How FAs can help clients smash retirement planning roadblocks
Steve Randall

We all know that retirement will come, either through choice or circumstances, but it seems moving from the intention to action is a hard one for many people.

A study by the Behavioural Insights Team and the Ontario Securities Commission highlights barriers that clients face and how organizations can help promote retirement planning.

"When it comes to preparing for retirement, even seemingly small roadblocks can have a paralyzing effect," said Tyler Fleming, Director of the Investor Office at the OSC. "Our study identifies evidence-based approaches that organizations can use to address these barriers and encourage retirement planning."

Overcoming barriers to retirement planning

The study reveals a perception that retirement planning will take a long time and is complex.

There is also a tendency to not think about the future, to discount long-term needs, and to be overly optimistic about savings.

The research suggests that breaking down retirement planning into small steps can help overcome the fear of dealing with the perceived mammoth task.

Financial advisors may be able to engage with clients better when they are already thinking about getting older, around their birthdays for example.

Highlighting how having a financial plan in place can benefit clients psychologically by feeling secure and financially confident is another suggested strategy.

The emotional drive of pointing out how a strong retirement plan will allow clients to spend more quality time with family and friends is also a good way to get them to see the benefits of retirement planning.

The full findings are at