Financial Planning Giant Launches Senior-Specific Advisor Training

Raymond James Financial (NYSE:RJF) has announced the launch of a new retirement planning initiative that will help its advisors apply key concepts drawn from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab, the company says.

With longer lifespans than any previous generation, baby boomers will require different retirement planning techniques. For this reason, Raymond James hopes to arm its advisors with tools to help them respond effectively to older clients when they need help, writes Financial Planning magazine.

In 2050, the number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to be 88.5 million, more than double its population of 40.2 million in 2010, Census Bureau data shows.


This 65+ cohort is also living longer. In 2010, 65-year-old men were expected to live another 17.7 years, compared with 14.1 years for those age 65 in 1980. Women age 65 were expected to live another 20.3 years, compared with 18.3 in 1980, according to the Census Bureau.

“Planning for our clients’ longer lifespans cannot end with a basic financial plan and a portfolio strategy,” said Patrick O’Connor, senior vice president of Wealth, Retirement & Portfolio Solutions at Raymond James and one of the leaders of this new initiative. “Advisors are increasingly looking to collaborate with their clients in navigating their unique life priorities and resulting financial implications, both planned and unexpected.”

Raymond James’ new initiative will roll out in six stages over the next nine to 12 months, and will include strategies to enhance advisors’ ability to educate clients through their digital presence, multimedia campaigns and client events.

The initiative will also include tips on leveraging social media to engage clients on topics about longevity, Financial Planning writes. The effort will focus on training advisors on how to make events more interactive and extending that onto social media, spreading brand awareness in the process.

“Raymond James shares [AgeLab Founder] Dr. Joe Coughlin’s vision that aging today requires new thinking and that the financial services industry must evolve to better understand the implications of living longer,” said Tash Elwyn, president of Raymond James & Associates Private Client Group, and the initiator of the firm’s collaboration with the AgeLab.

Read the Financial Planning article here.

Written by Emily Study

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  • No mention of reverse mortgages. Why? Because the financial advice industry has no financial incentive to do so….. When our industry decides it is in our best interest we will lobby HUD to allow commission sharing with financial advisors and eventually the full right of advisors to originate them as well. More than likely someone is already working on this, but I won’t name names.

    • I am aware of that. At Metlife we were told NOT to attempt to contact them because they had issued an internal memo prohibiting their associates from engaging with us, even for discussion of reverse mortgages. I believe their behavior constitutes professional malpractice. To not include discussion of reverse mortgages in a competent and comprehensive discussion of retirement planning strategies is clearly nonfeasance.

      • hecmvet,

        If one looks at the assets and liabilities of a senior, annuities, stocks, bonds, CDs, whole life insurance, pensions, IRAs, defined contribution accounts (such as 401(k) accounts) and similar financial assets are assets all of which produce income or growth. Yet a HECM is only an asset to the note owner, not the borrower; to a senior/borrower a HECM is nonrecourse negatively amortizing debt whose collateral is the principal residence of the borrower.

      • Nice book! Your last paragraph gets back to the comment I made.
        A retiree’s assets must first meet the cash flow needs of the retiree unless their primary objective is to sacrifice financially in order to provide for an inheritance to their heirs.
        The home is the NON PERFORMING asset in the equation that can do more than just provide shelter. If a retiree’s assets can safely and reliably be deployed to meet their cash flow needs and also possibly provide an inheritance for their heirs then they don’t need a reverse mortgage. However, to ignore the cash flow enhancing benefits of a hecm is, in my opinion, nothing less than nonfeasance. At the heart of this entire discussion is the necessity of understanding Time Value of Money Principles and it is just shocking how many people in this profession, as well as our own, don’t fully grasp its importance.
        I can’t let financial advisors off the hook on this…..the fact is they are not generally familiar with how hecm’s work…..
        That Mr. Veale, is why I have strongly urged Peter Bell and company to invite Raymond James et al of that ilk to the next NRMLA convention as our guests!

      • If an advisor is comfortable incorporating a HELOC in a retirement plan, he/she should be equally comfortable with a HECM LOC.
        IMO, its the negative stigma attached to the HECM program and fueled by the media that causes advisors to shy away from it.

      • REVGUYJIM,

        I fully disagree.

        HECMs are negatively amortizing and HECM accruing costs generally exceed interest costs on a HELOC. In many cases, the upfront costs of a HECM exceed those of a HECM by several thousand dollars. In my state with its trustee’s right of sale in the trust deed, almost all HELOCs end up being effectively nonrecourse.

        Even those financial advisors who write for NRMLA do not understand that the HECM line of credit grows or what that means. I was surprised to find that out when emailing an author about his conclusions in a recent financial planning article he did for NRMLA.

        There is no question that bad press is a very real issue as is the general negative view of a significant part of the senior mass affluent. But bad press is but one source of the perception problem we must overcome.

        (The opinions expressed in this response are not necessarily those of RMS or its affiliates.)

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