It can be difficult for insurance agents to nail down what the overriding concern is that's facing customers today, but a leading industry executive says that he believes he knows what that one thing is.
Speaking at the annual Retirement Industry Conference, which was sponsored by professional development firm LIMRA as well as the Society of Actuaries and performance management company LOMA, Stig O. Nybo said that insufficient retirement savings beats them all.
"[It's] the biggest social issue of our time," said Nybo, according to InsuranceNewsNet.
How this issue is addressed can't come from one single source, he maintained, but it requires a group effort from insurance professionals, personal responsibility that retirees have to themselves as well as proactive measures from the federal government.
Because agents can only control their own actions - as well as those of the industry they work for - Nybo said that insurers need to be provide better clarity as to how insurance customers can get on the proper retirement savings path. in other words, it's not enough to simply supply consumers with retirement information, but how these details can be put to use.
"We need to tell people what they need to do, and set the context for them in a way that will lead to success," said Nybo, InsuranceNewsNet reported. "If we don't get bold about it, it's not going to change things."
Withdrawal from retirement savings can set consumers back
LIMRA points out that customers often sabotage their retirement savings goals by withdrawing from their 401(k)s and other savings devices far too early. Consumers can avoid this issue by committing to themselves that the money they set aside for life after they leave the workforce remains untouchable - particularly among individuals who still need to work 30 or more years before they can call it a career.
"Although retirement is likely decades away for Gen X and Y workers, it is critical that they understand how the financial decisions they make today will affect their retirement lifestyle," said Alison Salka, LIMRA Retirement Research corporate vice president. "Our research shows that fewer than half of Gen X and only a third of Gen Y believe saving for retirement is a top priority. If younger Americans start saving just a few years earlier, it can have a significant impact on their retirement security."