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By Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

"What keeps you up at night?" has long been an effective conversation starter for advisors who want to assess their clients' risk tolerance and past investment experiences. What would be the best way to then turn that conversation to your clients' vision of — and concerns about — retirement? Try asking, "After you retire, what will get you up in the morning?"

Truth is, most investors don't spend enough time reviewing and updating their retirement plans to ensure they are on track to meet their retirement goals. Rather, they check to see if their retirement assets are growing and do some quick mental math to determine their growth rate.

A great way to continue the retirement conversation is to then into spending needs. It goes like this:

Advisor: "What day of the week do most families, probably yours, spend the most money shopping?"

Client: "Saturday?"

Advisor: "Right. And how many Saturdays are there in a week?"

Client: "One."

Advisor: "How many Saturdays will there be after you retire?"

Once the realization sinks in that a lifetime of Saturdays might cost more than they anticipated, here are some follow-up questions that can lead to more in-depth discussions about potential action plans, strategies and solutions.

  • "Have you considered optimal asset location for growing your retirement investments?"
  • "Have you mapped out a tax-aware retirement spending strategy?"
  • "Will your expected retirement income sources meet your anticipated needs?"
  • "Do you have adequate long-term care insurance?"

Bottom line: After-Tax Advisors differentiate themselves and attract new clients by giving retirement plan reviews the time and attention they deserve.