As the massive baby boomer generation gets older, it’s trending toward what one Financial Advisor magazine columnist calls “WEtirement”—a desire for a collective retirement experience that will revolutionize the way financial planners operator.
“WEtirement symbolizes the idea that boomers like being around each other,” says author Robert Laura, the president of SYNEGOS Financial Group. “They’re comfortable in groups, learning, growing and living life together. This simple reality is one of the more profound, yet least understood, trends I see among new and soon-to-be retirees.”
Financial affairs such as investment and retirement planning have traditionally been a private process, he says, but that may be changing based on feedback from retirement workshops Laura has led.
The most common response he’s gotten to the question, ‘What did you like most about the workshop?’ is ‘Hearing what other people are doing.’ And when asked for one thing they wished they had more time for, boomers commonly say they want more peer interaction or hearing more from the group.
Boomers want someone to guide, encourage, and empower them, Laura says in the column, enabling them to make the most of their time, energy, and money. Rather than an advisor who figures out retirement for them, they’d rather hear if their plans are in line with what their peers are thinking and doing.
“This powerful new trend will spawn higher levels of interactive, group investing,” he predicts. “Think of a local version of the show Mad Money with Jim Cramer where followers show up to get your take and input on what they have and want to do, along with that of their peers. It may sound far off right now, but imagine the efficiency that comes from working with a gourd instead of one-on-one with everyone.”
Instead of traditional client appreciation events featuring well-known economists, Laura predicts financial advisors will begin organizing cohorts of boomers who are interested in post-retirement activities such as starting or funding a business, learning how to write a book, or even investing as a group.
“As the new wave of emerging retirement trends continue to reshape our industry, advisors who are willing and prepared to adapt to client situations and needs will stand out among the group, prosper, and chart a path for future advisors,” he concludes.
Read the full column at Financial Advisor.
Written by Alyssa Gerace