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Every RRSP season, we try to think up clever campaigns in an effort to mine retirement assets – I like to call it the Old Rush.

Here’s a message that is guaranteed to get a prospect or client’s attention:

As much as 60% of retirement portfolio growth can come from investment returns earned DURING retirement. In other words: Just because you’ve stopped working, doesn’t mean your investments have to.

As a result, investors worried about what current market conditions are doing to their retirement nest eggs can breathe a sigh of relief – there may be time to make up for losses. According to research from the Russell 10-30-60 Rule of Retirement, investment earnings during retirement could come from 10% initial savings during the working years, 30% pre-retirement investment growth, and as much as 60% from growth after retirement – this all depends on having the right asset mix of bonds and equities.

Most of your prospects and clients will find this new message to be mind blasting, especially those with significant assets off to the sidelines in GICs and high interest savings accounts (although these moves are understandable in light of the tremendous market volatility that’s impacted investors).

But the reality is most clients simply have no idea how much income potential their retirement portfolios can generate.

A poll from a few years ago by Russell and Harris/Decima of investors aged 42 and over with household incomes of $50,000 or more, revealed that 88% of investors don’t know the bulk of their investment income in retirement can be generated from growth that occurs during retirement.

In the same poll, we also discovered investors believed that 49% of their retirement income will come from money saved during their working years. Meanwhile, investors think the growth of their pre-retirement savings will provide for 31% of their spending in their golden years. Those same investors thought only 20% of their investments will play a role in providing income during retirement.

Interestingly, we found the much coveted High Net Worth investor was most likely to have misconceptions about how their retirement income would be generated.

You might think people with the business savvy to amass considerable wealth would also have investor savvy, but the results show high net worth investors are most likely to be off the mark when it comes to retirement planning. Surveyed investors with a net worth over $750,000 believed only 8% of their retirement income will come from investment growth during retirement.

These investors, more so than others, mistakenly think that 63% of their retirement income is going to be derived from the money they’ve saved during their working years. There is an amazing opportunity right now for advisors to help HNW investors understand how their portfolios could be put to work during retirement.

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