As our industry begins to address the income needs of the aging baby boomer population, arming clients with a personalized income roadmap can help them stay on the right track to reach their desired outcomes.

Here are three ways a simple and straightforward income plan can help your clients:

1. It Gives Investments a Purpose

A clear income planning roadmap can help keep clients focused on their unique goals, not on arbitrary market benchmarks. It’s a straightforward approach to investing that can help clients achieve a genuine level of preparedness for retirement.

The income planning process can help you answer the most relevant questions for your clients:

  • How much money will I need in retirement?
  • When can I retire?
  • Will my spouse and/or children be OK if something happens to me?
  • Can I leave a legacy?
2. It Spreads Investment Risk Out Over Time, Helping Investors Remain Confident

Using time as a risk management tool, an income plan can help you safeguard short-term income needs in vehicles like money markets, while investing riskier assets like equities in buckets that will not need to be tapped into for 10 years or more.

Time can help manage volatility, since over long periods of time, the effects of market spikes are smoothed out. Using a time segmented approach to asset management can help spread out a client’s risk throughout their investing lifecycle. Most importantly, if the markets go through a period of volatility, clients with a longer time horizon can rest assured that their long-term investments have time to recover from losses.

3. It Can Help Investors Pay Themselves First

Today’s high net worth investors have complex needs. Many find themselves faced with expensive college tuition payments, caring for their parents, and trying to save for their own retirement. They commonly make the mistake of raiding their retirement accounts to pay for their kids’ tuition, which can have catastrophic effects on their retirement.

In fact, Fidelity data shows a spike in people borrowing from their 401(k)s in the third quarter of every year, which they suspect is to pay for children’s college tuition.3 Although young adults can take out loans for tuition, there is no loan for retirement income. By presenting clients with a personalized income plan, you can help prevent them from derailing their own retirement needs by keeping them focused on their future goals.

Giving clients a clear and concise roadmap for their retirement income needs can help establish you as a retirement expert in your community and can help clients make better decisions about their future. Personal income planning can help bridge the gap between the financial plan and the investment plan, helping clients truly understand how their money will work for them.

Contact your Investment Consultant to
Create a Sample Income Plan for Your Client


  1. Cerulli Associates. Cited in BlackRock presentation: “The Rise of the Digital Advisor.” iShares Connect, 2015.
  2. Benartzi, Schlomo. “The simple question that will encourage saving.” The Financial Times, March 18, 2012 (Retrieved from:
  3. Brooks, Rodney. “Don’t let grown children derail your retirement.” The Washington Post, August 22, 2015 (Retrieved from:

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