Helping retirees manage their finances is fast becoming another niche for digital planners, and a new crop of platforms dedicated to that goal are emerging.
This article was originally posted on Financial-Planning.com on October 3, 2017.
The latest entrant is RetireUpPro, an end-to-end retirement income planning platform for advisors who want to help clients live off their savings and investments.
The tool was developed in partnership between RepPro, an automated paperwork management platform, and advisory software firm RetireUp. Its developers say it addresses a knowledge gap among advisors.
“If you’re an advisor [working with clients] accumulating money and never really touched the decumulation phase, how do you learn that?” says Patrick Kelly, CEO of RepPro.
Despite the importance of having a retirement withdrawal strategy, it’s rarely emphasized, which Kelly chalks up partly to incentive models.
Fee-based advisors have an incentive to grow a client’s assets, not watch them shrink. But as the largest generation in U.S. history enters retirement — the Social Security Administration estimates by 2035, there were will be over 79 million Americans aged 65 and older — the demand for retirement income planning has never been greater.
Some tech firms, such as the recently launched United Income, think that robo advice could fill the gap for the first generation of tech-savvy retirees. But RetireUpPro sees opportunity in making human advisors more efficient.
“You could classify us as a robo for the advisor,” says Jim Richards, director of the board at RetireUpPro.
RetireUpPro hopes to speed up the advice process from the first interaction. Rather than waiting for a full review of a client’s statements, advisors can sketch out a retirement plan based on the client’s description of their existing assets. From there, the advisor can change variables such as asset allocation strategies and market performance assumptions to test different scenarios in real time.
“It creates momentum in the conversation,” Kelly says.
RepPro’s contribution can be found in back-end integrations and paperwork reduction tools, such as auto-filling features and a simplified signing process.
The company has yet to announce launch partners and pricing, but it posted some recent success after launching a software platform with Valic, a division of AIG, last March. Kevin Hogan, the head of the division, attributed “billions of dollars” of recent asset growth to the new software, according to Bloomberg.
As big-name advisors continue to go independent, Richards sees an opportunity to replace the multimillion dollar IT resources of wirehouses and broker-dealers with a simple, low-cost solution.
“As they go out on their own, they need technical resources,” says Richards.