- The most recent cultural shift to the information and now to the connected age has allowed for entrepreneurs of many ages to build and create instantaneous wealth in remarkably quicker fashion. Think of how quickly Facebook grew to billions. Unprecedented. Ashley Dupre, the woman involved in the sex scandal with Eliot Spitzer, was able to make over $200,000 in a handful of days through music downloads by curious spectators(1). The next millionaire or billionaire is around the corner and needs advice quickly as what is easily earned, can be easily lost.
- There also has been two main changes in work structure:
- The connected culture allows us to be productive from out of the office and share our wisdom without geographic considerations. With the increasingly wider use of flexible working arrangements, it is no surprise that they have been considered to be a reward amongst employees. As a result flexible work arrangements have become part of some organizations benefit plans. The inclusion of flexible benefit plans into the work package has according to a study done by Barber et al, significantly increased the satisfaction that employees have with their benefits which was observed following implementation(2)
- The aging of the population has forced employers to place new value on the traditionally “retired” population to rejoin the workforce. A 2007 Retirement Survey showed that nearly 5% of retirees followed a nontraditional retirement path that included partial employment or complete reversal and return to the workforce full time(3)
- One thing that has come from the proliferation of information is the ability of professionals to become niche specialist. This ability to focus in a specialized area has made the team approach to planning an ideal process for helping the individual understand and reach a stable retirement. Gone are the days when one voice or professional could competently lead a person into proper risk management, wealth building, legacy and business succession strategies in preparation for retirement. How does this apply to you? When getting advice on a business or planning move, get advice from several perspectives. Any decision involving money or assets has a tax, legal and risk component. At a minimum, discuss this move with a professional in each area. Even better, try to get them to do it with you all at once in person, on conference call or using online conferencing tools.
- Due to the complexity of issues that face those heading into retirement, the financial services industries have been forced, through consumer demand, to create products that are more flexible and address multiple issues that all retirees face. For example, we now have life insurance products that can release funds before a client dies, until the death benefit is exhausted if need be, to pay for the costs of a custodial, long term care situation. We also have available in the marketplace annuity products that allow for accumulated principal to continue to grow, even after distribution has begun from the balance, without forfeit of the accumulated principal to the insurance company. These blended products, and many more not discussed allow for a more robust flexible plan that can provide cash flow longer and in several life events.