We have all seen a football team work a two minute offense when they are behind. They pass to the sidelines so the receiver can get out of bounds and stop the clock. The clock is their enemy because they must “come from behind” to try and win the game. If they are not successful early on they may be forced to “go for broke” and throw the bomb . . . the Hail Mary. Sometimes it works, but for most . . . they just don’t have enough time. The opposite is true if the team with the lead has the ball. They try to run the ball, keep the clock moving, don’t throw an incomplete pass and try to keep the ball away from their opponents because time is on their side.
It’s much the same in the retirement planning business. If you are ahead in the game (retirement planning) you tend to play it safe (Safe Money Places®) but with enough offense (yield) to keep ahead of inflation & taxes and protect your lead (your principal). The opposite is true if a person has not accumulated enough money. The clock is their enemy. They are running out of time and tend to play (invest) in a more risky fashion. They may put a larger percentage of their money in a position to “throw the bomb” (risk money places).
There is one big difference between a football or basketball game and retirement planning. It’s the clock. In the athletic event we know exactly how much time we have left to win or maintain our advantage. Not so with retirement planning. We never know when the final horn will go off signaling the end of the contest. So we must prepare for multiple overtime sessions.
I believe that we can do a tremendous service for our prospects and clients if we provide them with this, or a similar analogy. They need a playbook to determine the following:
- What is your client's current or projected retirement income?
- Will it be enough if we adjusted to a 3.6% annual inflation rate (the average over the last 25 years)?
- When is a good time to start taking additional retirement income?
- How can we reduce the taxation on their Social Security (the big 15 yard penalty) ?
- Do your clients have savings bonds? Are they aware of the tax time bomb in that product? Do they have an exit strategy?
- Are your clients prepared for potential long term care or home health care needs?
In summary, let’s review our clients’ game plan. Provide annual reviews because nothing remains the same, and Planning continues for as long as the game is on. A “two minute offense” is exciting, however most of our clients are not all Pro Bowl players and don’t have nerves of steel. Planning today is much better than planning tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.
Today is the best time to start planning. I am confident that they will enjoy the game much more if they are confident in the play calling.
Until Next Time, Good Selling!
Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU
President and CEO
The Ohlson Group, Inc and SMP International LLC