Helping Your Clients RetireJohn Sanders
You know one thing about a client that they take interest in is your retirement advice. That is that he or she is taking a proactive interest in staying with the program long enough to retire. This is not a given for every client. It used to be in the generation that was in the workplace of the nineteen fifties and sixties that staying with a company and their insurance agent for thirty or more years and retiring with full benefits was the norm. That is not the norm anymore.
We cannot just blame the job-hopping ways of employees for the change of culture away from going for the gold watch and retiring in any company. From the corporate side, so many companies have eliminated retirement packages entirely that there is a strong belief of “do it yourself” retirement in the working population.
In today’s world a company offering a retirement benefit for employees serves one purpose. That is to aid with employee retention. When you have a pool of talented, well trained, and energetic employees, that is a corporate resource. So, if employers can keep those employees all the way through to retirement, that is a real value to any corporate entity.
If a company does offer retirement benefits to its employees, it is important that they take advantage of them in more ways than just sponsoring them. A retirement package for aging employees sends a message to the employees that the company cares about them and about their families. And this may be true in the company that they have a corporate culture of being involved with the employees at a personal level and maintaining that “we are family” feeling for people who work for them. If that is the case, it makes sense that you, as an agent, would extend a feeling of support for the program because it is an employee benefit.
When consulting with the employee highlight the company retirement package as early as possible. Remind them that generally a company retirement program is a free basic benefit. It is not the destination, just a stop toward the destination.
The employee HR department should not let the retirement issues of employees lie idle for very long at all. The more you guide your client to the employees plan for and offer guidance in a retirement program, the happier they will be and the more engaged in their work they will be. Hold regular retirement planning meetings with the client to review their level of participation in the employee program.