A strategy built on segmenting retirement income into buckets to ensure that those in retirement achieve the bliss they’ve worked for their whole life.
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A robust, state-of-the-art software tool designed for advisors to build individual
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3 Tips for Becoming a Retirement Specialist

By: Madison Taylor

A few months ago on the Bucket Bliss blog, Stephen Swensen, an advisor at Summit Capital wrote an article titled “You Can’t Be All Things to All People.” In it, he said that if you want to be a successful advisor, it’s important to become a subject matter expert instead of trying to do everything for your clients. Trying to be, as Swensen said, “all things to all people,” will spell disaster for you and your practice.

In “Managing Retirement Income: Innovated Strategies to Capture and Retain Retirement Income” (2006), McKinsey&Co reported that 75 percent of investors will either find a new advisor or hire an additional advisor 15 years before they retire. For you to be a successful advisor, your client needs to be confident in your ability to plan a productive and safe retirement for them. Your clients will be more likely to stick with you before and during their retirement if you position yourself as a retirement specialist.

Tip No. 1: Build a Brand

In order for your clients to feel confident in staying with you throughout their retirement, don’t assume that your clients and potential clients know that you specialize in retirement income planning. You must make it clear that your firm is a retirement practice. This will reinforce to your clients that you specialize in making sure retirees have enough money in retirement, and they will feel more confident and inclined to stay with you, and only you, as they retire. To unmistakably establish this, it is important to craft a branding template.

A branding template is a page created for your website, or a handout to give to prospects and clients, that specifically states that you are a retirement specialist. When writing your branding template, keep these things in mind:

  • List your credentials, education, and professional experience.
  • List your planning partners, such as CPAs and attorneys.
  • Define your typical clientele so that potential clients will know that you specialize in working with retirees.
  • Inform clients or potential clients about your processes and services. For example, give an overview of the bucket strategy, list any software applications you use, like Bucket Bliss Advisor, explain your fact-finding process, the types of investments you generally advise, and other services and resources you offer, like annual or semiannual account reviews, and newsletters.

In addition to writing a branding template, create a mission statement and put it in a prominent place on your website and in your office. Take advantage of your mission statement to clearly communicate your goals and why you are the best choice for potential clients.

Tip No. 2: Creating Consistent Account Reviews

Retirement can be a financially anxious time for your clients. They may feel that they are headed into completely unknown and uncharted territory, but you, as their advisor, know better. Using a bucket strategy allows you to not only make a viable plan for your clients, but to make a plan that your clients are going to understand. When a client understands how their money is working for them in retirement, it takes a lot of the anxiety out of transitioning into retirement. While a bucket strategy can never guarantee performance, it assures there will be very few surprises for your clients.

That being said, in order to become a retirement specialist, it’s important to hold annual or semiannual account reviews to consistently remind your clients of their income plans and refresh their understanding of the bucket strategy. In episode 1 of The Bucket Bliss Podcast, Swensen discussed his step-by-step plan for using Bucket Bliss Advisor to be a successful and consistent advisor in his account reviews. You can listen to the full episode on SoundCloud.

Tip No. 3: Engage with your Clients

Lastly, in order to become a retirement specialist, it’s equally important to make yourself available for more than your client’s account review. Try sending out a monthly or quarterly newsletter to inform your clients about things like big news in your practice and industry trends. Your newsletter doesn’t have to be about just finance; include links to articles about retirement lifestyles, housing, hobbies, travel, etc. You might also try connecting with clients on social media, and sharing valuable resources through those platforms.  In addition to a newsletter and social media, try providing clients with an annual reading list of books, articles, and other related content that reaffirms the bucket strategy.

Creating branding template, writing a mission statement, establishing a consistent routine for successful account reviews, and interacting with your clients outside of their account reviews will help you position yourself as a retirement specialist so that your clients feel confident in your ability to successfully plan their retirement, and ensure that you will be their last advisor.

Madison Taylor is the Marketing Director at Bucket Bliss, a robust software application designed to help Bucketeers all over the country plan successful retirement incomes for their clients. Join the Bucketeer Movement at www.bucketbliss.com.

Are YOU a Bucketeer?

By: Madison Taylor, Bucket Bliss

Are your account reviews smooth and simple for your clients to understand? Are your clients tired of getting their income plan on half a ream of paper in a three-ring binder, and are you, as their advisor, tired of giving it to them that way? When your clients leave your office, do they have crystal clear understanding of the strategy used to plan and implement their retirement income?

If any of this rings a bell, it’s time you became a Bucketeer.

What is a Bucketeer, you ask?

A Bucketeer is anybody who uses a bucket strategy to increase productivity while decreasing their stress and simplifying their practice. A Bucketeer is anybody who uses a bucket strategy to present their clients with not only an income plan they can feel good about, but a method of planning that they can comprehend. A Bucketeer is someone who constantly turns referrals into clients because they know how to explain the strategy in a way that even a prospect without a business degree can understand and get excited about.

Bucket Bliss Advisor is a robust, sta
te-of-the-art software tool designed to help Bucketeers build individual bucket strategies while implementing a comprehensive retirement plan for their clients.

Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

That’s the beauty of using Bucket Bliss Advisor: it’s simple. It’s easy to explain. It’s easy to understand. In an interview with Morningstar’s Christine Benz, Harold Evensky, the creator of the bucket strategy, said, “(Bucket strageties) really makes sense for anyone.”

The Strategy Behind Bucket Bliss

The theory behind the bucket strategy, and Bucket Bliss Advisor, is that you create anywhere between two to four portfolios, or buckets, meant to be used at different times in retirement. Bucket number one is designed to be used within the first five years of retirement, and is filled with cash, or near cash alternatives, to provide income for those first years of retirement. Assets in buckets two, three, and four are spent during the second five-year segment, the third five-year segment, and the fourth five-year segment of retirement, respectively. Because these buckets have time to grow and weather erratic markets, they can be filled with increasingly more aggressive investments, bucket four being filled with the most volatile assets.

Bucket Bliss for Your Clients

Bucket Bliss Advisor is flexible, allowing each plan to be personal and specific. Bucket strategies are universal and work regardless of what products and investments you use to fill the buckets, allowing you to create a plan specific to the unique needs and circumstances of each client.

Bucket Bliss Advisor allows you to calm your client’s fears about retirement and answer their questions because not only is their plan specific to them, but it is so simple that they will have a clear understanding of how their money is working for them, and how it will be distributed when it comes time to retire. Bucket strategies offer a unique clarity, and your clients no longer view retirement income planning as a complex process only to be understood by a highly educated advisor.

“Using a Bucket Bliss Advisor unveils the procedure for building a viable income plan,” said Stephen Swensen, an experienced financial advisor and CEO of Bucket Bliss. “Planning with buckets gives the clients opportunities to see that none of this is black magic. I tell my clients all the time that using a bucket strategy will not guarantee performance, but it will guarantee there will be no surprises.”

Bucket Bliss for YOU

When your clients understand the strategy that is being used to manage and distribute their income, their trust and loyalty to you as their advisor increases, thus solidifying your business and giving it a strong foundation to grow. When you are confident in your ability to provide for your clients, you can market yourself, leveraging your expertise to score high-quality referrals and turn them into high-quality clients.

Acquiring more clients can be viewed as a double-edged sword; it’s great to have the job and income security that comes with having a large client base. But on the flip side, having more clients means having more account reviews, which means you have to spend more time preparing for those appointments, which can lead to more stress for you.

However, this doesn’t need to define your practice, not if you’re using Bucket Bliss Advisor.

“Prior to using Bucket Bliss Advisor to plan my clients’ retirement, I spent an upwards of two hours preparing for every single account review,” Swensen said. “Getting ready for my appointments now takes me less than an hour because the strategy is so intuitive that I can make changes to any given income plan on the fly and get real-time, up-to-date information about my client’s accounts.”

With Bucket Bliss Advisor, less is more. They allow you to cut down case-prep time without compromising your credibility as a competent advisor and your ability to productively plan a successful retirement for your clients.

Joining the Bucketeer movement offers countless benefits for both you and your clients. If you want to work more efficiently than every before, create a successful practice within a competitive and thriving niche, and build an educated client base who thoroughly understand their retirement income plans, it’s time for you to join the Bucketeer Movement.

Madison Taylor is the Marketing Director at Bucket Bliss, a robust software application designed to help Bucketeers all over the country plan successful retirement incomes for their clients. Join the Bucketeer Movement at www.bucketbliss.com.