Diamond-Quality Retirement Planning
“Transition boomers” should consider the 4 C’s to help evaluate
the best sources of retirement income.
By Gary C. Bhojwani
Retirement today looks and feels very different than it did for previ- ous generations. Concerns about Social Security and the erosion of pensions, along with gut-wrenching daily market volatility,
have combined to create confusion and paralysis for the millions of baby
boomers currently in the transition phase — about five to 10 years from
the start of their retirement.
This phase is critical. A person may spend 30 or
more years accumulating assets for retirement but
then have no clue how to convert those assets into
a stream of long-term guaranteed income.
And frankly, the financial services industry
hasn’t been much help. Retirement calculators
and tools have typically focused on accumulation
and provided no easy way to approach retirement
income decision-making. With 4. 5 million baby
boomers transitioning to retirement each year,
consumers would benefit from a simple framework
to help them ask questions and—with the help of a
trusted financial professional—work through the
complexities of retirement income planning.
At Allianz Life, we developed the 4 C’s of Suc-
cessful Retirement Income Strategies, a new way
of thinking about retirement income planning
that was inspired by the diamond industry, which
boiled down the infrequent, complex, emotional
and significant purchase of a diamond into the 4
C’s of “cut, clarity, color and carat.”
For retirement income planning, the 4 C’s are
“clarity, comfort, cost of living and certainty.”
They isolate different components of this complex
and often emotional financial planning process.
And like those of the diamond industry, the 4 C’s
are meant to be product- and company-agnostic,
helping any consumer and financial professional
to work through these issues.
Clarity: The first of the 4 C’s, clarity is the ana-
lytical process of gathering facts to see the big picture and understand
how one’s savings will come together to fund retirement. Clarity also
comes from learning income strategies and how risks, such as infla-
tion, may affect their portfolio.
the 4 C’s are “clarity,
comfort, cost of
living and certainty.”
They isolate different
components of this
complex and often
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