“I’m sure there are some people who should be worried about their financial future, even if they do work with advisors, simply because they’re not saving enough,” she said. “There are many who are saving more than enough, and they should be able to sleep at night. They just don’t know whether they’ve got enough. We’ve worked with clients who actually have millions of dollars, but they don’t know if the capital is enough to support the lifestyle that they want to have.”
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She noted that advisors can help clients look at both their retirement income – pensions and investments – and their lifestyle expenses when drawing up their financial plans. If they don’t have enough resources to meet their expectations, then they’ll need to pare those down. That can be challenging for clients who aren’t used to having a lower living standard. So, she said, “it’s a question of whether their expectations are reasonable.”
If clients come to advisors later in life, then they won’t have as much time to correct that situation since they have less time to take advantage of compounding. She noted they’ll probably have to choose a more conservative portfolio, but may still have to lower their lifestyle expectations or push back their retirement date. She said she’s seeing some clients retire from one job, then pick up contracts or other work to earn up more income in this currently tight labour market.
IG is constantly doing outreach and client communication. So, while Van Cauwenberghe said this survey’s results probably wouldn’t result in any immediate changes to what it does, she said, “it does show us the importance of advice, especially when the markets are down, and the importance of reaching out to clients when there are times of volatility.”