Barron’s: Financial Planners Offer Options to Clients With Insufficient Retirement Savings, With Key Omission

With many American retirees at or near retirement realizing that the amount of savings they’ve accumulated will likely be insufficient to sustain them into their post-working lives, many may need to explore alternative sources of cash flow. The persistent presence of problems regarding insufficient retirement savings is confronted often by financial planners, but many of those professionals have different ideas when it comes to options worth exploring.

This is according to a compilation of financial planner perspectives published this week in Barron’s. While many of the surveyed planners all have particular tried-and-true ideas when it comes to finding solutions for clients situated this way, only one out of the five surveyed recommended a reverse mortgage.

“It’s no small matter with lifespans getting ever longer and healthcare costs ever more expensive,” the column begins. “The median retirement savings for Americans, including those of all ages, was just $65,000 in 2019, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. For families ages 35 to 64 with assets in IRAs or DC plans, the mean was $269,600, according to the data.”

Financial advisors, however, contend that there are still things to be done. The responses about what paths are worth exploring had some variation to them.

“A lot of expenses are related to their home, such as landscaping, unexpected roof repairs,” said Katie Coleman, financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial in Hauppauge, N.Y. “This is why you need a cash reserve. We often look at whether they should keep their property or downsize. And in light of what’s occurred in the past 18 months, we’re seeing more pre-retirees and retirees want to move closer to family and loved ones.”

Others discussed different methods of emergency savings funds and making sure to participate in an employer match if they have a 401K. However, the one advisor who included reverse mortgages in his possible options for clients with insufficient retirement savings also presented that option in the context of a pretty dire situation.

“It’s possible the luxuries you afforded during your working years aren’t ones you can afford in your retirement years,” said Jim Ciprich, wealth advisor at RegentAtlantic, based in Morristown, N.J. “Another idea is monetizing assets. One idea is a reverse mortgage. If it’s a little bit more dire straits as far as covering expenses, then you can utilize a portion of your home as an AirBnB rental.”

Read the column at Barron’s.

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