Advisers must adapt to over 60s’ complex needs as retiree market ‘fragments’

The retirement advice market must shift its focus from the ‘typical’ retiree it has served in the past as clients experiences become more complex and fragmented, according to analysis from Canada Life.

The retirement advice market must shift its focus from the ‘typical’ retiree it has served in the past as clients experiences become more complex and fragmented, according to analysis from Canada Life.

The provider said while the number of over 60s is set to grow hugely in the coming years – mapping out a clear opportunity for retirement advisers – their financial make-up and needs are vastly different from the typical retiree advisers deal with at present.

The number of over 60s is expected to grow by a third to 20.9m people by 2035, the research said.

It said two distinct retirement “journeys” will emerge over the next 15 years – people with complex families and therefore complex finances and clients who become financially “successful” in later life.

Canada Life said far more retirement clients will fit into these categories compared to the typical client of today who could be described as financially mature and stress-free. It said advisers will need to adapt their processes to meet the needs of these two new groups.

The provider worked with Trajectory Partnerships, a strategic forecasting agency, to model future groups of retirees. It said the shift will come about as a result of by changes in how we spend our time, accumulate and spend wealth, the rise in individualism and the declining relevance of social norms.

The group with complex families and finances currently makes up about 32% of the over 60s market but this group is likely to become the largest by 2035. These people could, for example, be on their second marriage and taking care of both their children and their parents’ financial needs, the research outlined.

Another emerging group have achieved financial stability later in life – those who got married,  bought their first property and had children later in life, meaning they have had less time to accumulate wealth. These currently account for 6% of the over 60s market but are “expected to grow significantly over time”.

Wealth management division MD and executive director Sean Christian said: “With those over 60 set to grow exponentially in the next 15 years there is an obvious opportunity for advisers.

“However, these new retirement journeys show us that the opportunity is fragmenting and focused in new areas. Societal changes have, and will continue to have an impact on the way we live in retirement, changing both the lifestyles and advice needs of clients.

“Unless the industry shifts its focus to support the clients that need them, we will collectively miss out on the opportunity to enable these people to have better financial futures.”

Christian said it was essential providers and advisers lead positive change and think about the needs of future generations today.

“It’s no secret that ‘retirement’ will mean something very different in 20 years’ time and by working alongside advisers now to support them in future-proofing their businesses, we will all be ready to support the clients of today and tomorrow,” he added.