Why most advisors will never retire

By Jordan Rosenberg | October 25, 2013 | Last updated on October 25, 2013
3 min read

As focused as advisors are on their clients’ retirement goals, many don’t realize some of their peers are continuing to work well past 55.

“I don’t plan on leaving this business until I’m old and can’t drive a car,” says 73-year-old Mary Lou Taylor of Toronto. Taylor has been serving clients since 1968, when she joined her father Val’s life insurance firm.

“I like to call it semi-retired,” says Taylor. She works about six months a year and lives in southern Florida the rest of the time.

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Taylor sold her MGA office a number of years ago to Canada Loyal, but the deal was structured to allow Taylor to keep her clients and the name Taylor Insurance.

It was important to her to continue serving good friends and second-generation clients, she says.

“I promised I would always be available,” she explains, adding her clients have her cell phone number and other contact information in case they need to reach her while she’s away.

Semi-retirement has benefits for Taylor too.

“It’s extra income. I also have more tax deductions and I’m not working all the time,” she says.

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She has help: her licensed associate Alice Sa.

Sa’s assistance has been key to making Taylor’s lifestyle work. She handles the administrative duties and is Taylor’s deputy when she’s away.

Taylor sometimes speaks to clients about changing policies by phone from Florida, and Sa will meet with clients to get the necessary paperwork signed.

Her clients are also flexible with appointments. Taylor says she hasn’t been in a bind yet when it comes to helping a client when neither she nor Sa is available.

Sa also keeps track of industry developments and often teaches Taylor about new products. She also runs seminars at the office. Taylor takes continuing education courses every year while she’s in Toronto.

Sa enjoys her responsibilities, says Taylor, and doesn’t want to buy or leave the firm.

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While Taylor isn’t pursuing clients, she did get new business last year through referrals. Most of her new business is converting policies from term insurance to universal life.

She finds it challenging to sell to younger clients, but she’s happy to work with near-retirees, retirees or older business owners. She keeps her presentations simple (no PowerPoint or tablet at her fingertips) and likes to simplify sophisticated concepts to one page when she can. This approach works well with her older clientele, she says.

“People like straightforward, no nonsense, uncomplicated solutions—which I provide,” says Taylor. “I’m down to about two or three appointments during the summer months, but that works fine for me.”

Thinking about succession planning? Think again. Being an advisor gives you the chance to set your own hours and work well into your elder years. You can earn comfortable retirement income while still taking time off to spend it with your family.

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Jordan Rosenberg, B.A., is a coach with The Personal Coach in Toronto.

Jordan Rosenberg