at-the-starting-blocks

This is sponsored content submitted by Sun Life Financial.

At Sun Life Financial, we’re focused on better understanding the needs of today’s retirees. Advice from a trusted advisor, our leading suite of retirement products and income protection solutions are what clients need, whatever their life stage and situation.

The importance of getting ready

Getting ready is a time of activity. No matter what you’re getting ready for—an important meeting, a golf game, or a much-needed vacation—you likely have a plan and a goal in mind. You know what the end goal is and you’re doing something about it.

I urge advisors to capitalize on the time when clients are in the ‘getting ready for retirement’ mindset. With 10-15 working years left before they retire, this group is in a unique position where they’re thinking about their retirement, and are at the best time to do something about it! They still have time to save, for the most part they’re insurable, they’re healthy, and may have fewer expenses. They’re ready and able to do something. I like to think of this as the sweet spot.

Sometimes the questions are simple and the answers are complicated

They’re getting ready, but are they really ready? Retirement planning begins when people are ready to answer two simple questions that often have complicated answers:

  1. When do you want to retire?
  2. What do you want to do when you retire?

Helping clients to answer these questions is part of Money for Life, Sun Life Financial’s customized approach to financial and retirement planning. Basic, lifestyle and health needs all play a huge role in when a client can retire and what they can do when they get there.

Boomers are the largest segment of the Canadian population and control 40% of Canadian wealth1. Tap into this huge and growing retirement market by aligning conversations with Money for Life and redefine the way you approach retirement planning. You can:

  • help clients understand and plan for the risks and changing needs they’ll have in retirement;
  • show them how their basic, lifestyle, health and legacy needs will change; and
  • help them put a plan in place to meet their changing needs with the right mix of life, health and wealth solutions.

Help clients get (even more) ready

When it comes to retirement planning, it’s no longer as simple as making sure clients have a certain percentage of their working income and seeing if that will be available in retirement. During the getting ready stage is the best time to build and protect retirement plans, with more than just dollars and cents. Mitigating against some of the life, health and disability risks that could adversely impact the plan can help your clients attain and maintain their retirement dreams.

Consider some of these options to help clients get even more ready for retirement:

  • Asset mix – Clients in their last 10-15 working years have time to save with a mix of different asset classes. It’s the perfect time to ramp up a savings plan to maximize the amount of money available as income when they’re retired. It’s all about the right savings plan and investment mix to meet their saving goals, based on when they want to retire.
  • Asset protection – This market is at a critical time when they can and should get protection in place to preserve the money they’re saving for retirement. It’s about giving them more options now, to look after the future income their assets will produce.
    • Critical illness insurance – Statistically speaking, for a couple aged 65, there is a 71% chance of one of them experiencing a critical illness in their retirement years2. This can impact their lifestyle with a sudden spike in health care expenses that could be funded by retirement savings, if insurance isn’t in place.
    • Long term care insurance – Did you know that there is an 82% probability that a 65 year old couple will require long-term care?2 Long term care insurance is more accessible and affordable the younger and healthier you are, as with other insurance products. Talking about LTCI with clients who are actively thinking about and saving for retirement is ideal.
    • Life insurance – This group of pre-retirees might still have kids at home, and likely a mortgage and debt. A term life solution can cover their mortgage, or a permanent solution could increase their retirement income and ensure tax-efficient transfer of their net estate value to their family.
  • Laddering – Clients don’t know what the market will look like when they retire. And, while they’re in the crucial years leading up to retirement, they can’t afford to lose a large sum of their savings if the market turns. A laddering strategy can give them confidence knowing they have secure, fixed amounts saved over the remainder of their working years and into retirement.

Money for Life can be a great conversation starter when clients are in the getting ready mindset. Help them build and protect their savings, protect their families, cover future health needs and plan for retirement while they’re still earning money in their careers. The fact is, 91% of Canadians plan on having an advisor help them when they reach retirement3. By focusing on those who are 10-15 years away from retirement, you’ll build a relationship with them now and continue to be their advisor when they reach retirement.

Only advisors who hold CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CH.F.C (Chartered Financial Consultant), F.Pl. (Financial Planner in Quebec), or equivalent designations are certified as financial planners.


1 Household balance sheet report, Investor Economics, 2013.

2 Munich Re, 2011

3 Canadian Boomer and the New Retirement, PMG Intelligence, 2009

Rocco Taglioni, Senior Vice-President, Head of Distribution, Individual Insurance and Wealth, is responsible for the overall leadership of Sun Life Financial’s distribution organizations across its Retail business in Canada. His role encompasses the leadership of the distribution company, as President Sun Life Financial Distributors Inc., as well as the Insurance and Wealth wholesaling sales organizations. Through the various leadership teams he oversees the development, direction, and execution of the Distribution strategies centered on wealth management, protection, retirement, and estate and financial planning.

Since joining Sun Life in 2004, Rocco has held various executive leadership roles, including Vice-President Business Development, Group Benefits; Head of Individual Wealth Management; Senior-Vice-President, Client Solutions; and most recently Senior Vice-President, Distribution and Marketing, Individual Insurance and Wealth. Throughout his tenure at Sun Life, Rocco has led various business strategies centered on building, transforming, and evolving organizations and teams to drive higher levels of performance and success.

Rocco has 36 years of experience in strategic leadership in the insurance and investment industries. He has served on and is a member of a number of boards. Rocco is currently President and Chair, Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc. and is a member of the Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. board. He is a member of various industry associations, including Advocis, GAMA Canada, the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, and the Association of Canadian Pension Management.

Rocco holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from York University.
Originally published on Advisor.ca