Retirement resources for easier planning

Apr 13, 2012

Retirement planning can be easier with financial products.

The BMO Financial Group recently expanded its BMO Retirement Institute into the United States, providing Americans with insight and financial strategies to plan for retirement.

The institute will address multiple retirement-related topics and provide comprehensive reports for consumers to peruse while preparing for their golden years. The reports will cover both financial and non-financial aspects of retirement to ensure consumers are ready for the milestone.

Kenneth Krei, executive vice president of BMO Private Bank, said the expansion into the United States is part of the company's strategy to become a global expert in programming, products and services for retirement planning.

"The similarities in the Canadian and U.S. marketplaces offer a unique opportunity to expand the reach of the BMO Retirement Institute to better serve all of our clients," Krei said.

The first report released by the financial group discussed how more baby boomers will enter retirement single compared to previous generations. Retiring without a spouse can greatly affect how best to save and prepare for the golden years.

The report showed 43 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are currently single due to divorce, never being married or the death of a partner. If the consumer finds themselves single at the start of retirement after being married previously, they can face a unique set of financial, emotional and planning challenges.

For example, the cost of living for singles is 40 to 50 percent higher than married individuals, thus single retirees are at a higher risk of outliving their retirement savings. Married couples are more likely than single retirees to establish a financial plan prior to retirement, including life insurance, annuities and other products, as well as a more up-to-date financial plan in place. Further, the study showed singles devote more of their income to basic living expenses, enabling less to be saved over time. With the cost of healthcare continuing to rise, saving as much as possible for retirement is key.

The Retirement Income Industry Association is also providing unique resources for retirement planning with the launch of the RIA Market Insight Initiative. This research program combines industry leaders, researchers and collective data to offer consumers with a well-rounded view of how best to plan for retirement through a variety of financial steps and products. The RIIA is working with financial organizations to collaborate on the research and engage in discussions and debate on the evolving retirement planning industry.

The first member added to the RMI Advisory Board is the National Associated for Fixed Annuities, which is dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of fixed annuities. The RIIA expects the NAFA to bring experience and focus on fixed annuities to the initiative to guide topic-specific research of the product.

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