Why Are Older Adults Working Longer?

Why are older adults working longer?


By Sam Deleo
Tucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/Editor

We are about to experience a major transformation of our labor force in the United States. Is it the change we want?

Forty years ago, the federal government lengthened Social Security’s full retirement age (FRA) from 65 to 67, and increased the delayed retirement credit. This incentivized people to work longer and, in fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s statistics show this is exactly what many Americans began to do.

Since 1983, employment rates for men aged 65-69 have risen by 10%, and by 15% for women in the same age group. By next year, 2024, one in four workers will be 55 or older, which is an over 100% increase from 30 years ago in 1994.

But the Bureau of Labor data shows that something else has also occurred over the last four decades: People lost their pensions (defined benefit plans) and were forced into defined contribution plans, usually in the form of 401(k)s. Since 1980 through 2014, workers with retirement plans that included a pension fell from 39% to 13%, a 200% decline. Conversely, workers who only have 401(k)s or defined contribution plans, rose from 9 to 34%. The Bureau of Labor has coined this loss of pensions as a “negative wealth effect” that has caused workers to be “increasingly motivated to work past the FRA.”

Some of us tend to leave these statistics out of the discussion when pointing to increased longevity and health, or even boredom, as reasons that older adults are working longer. And yet, it’s true that there can be many advantages to working past traditional retirement ages that contribute to a better quality of life, as well as more robust financial portfolios.

Older, not lesser

While ageism may unfortunately be the last-standing, socially tolerable form of discrimination, older workers are shattering its stereotypes. Senior employees tend to promote positive “can-do” attitudes in the workplace. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reported that workers over 55 performed with the highest levels of positive engagement in the workplace. Their survey also showed that younger employees viewed their older colleagues as teachers of on-the-job skills. In a study from 2021, the Department of Labor found that older workers could save employers money on re-training costs because they tended to remain more loyal to remaining with the company than younger workers.

Those who decide to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 can help deter the development of dementia, avoid feelings of isolation if they are widowed or alone, and consistently maintain an active lifestyle. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that working even just one year past 65 can increase one’s lifespan by 11%.

“A huge part of our self-worth is attached to work,” said Bryce Gill, an economist with the investment firm First Trust. “So it’s not surprising some people want to continue working if they can.” Gill points out that the bigger factor may be that the nature of work has changed over the last century to allow people to consider the option to extending their employment: “It’s no longer the case that a majority of people are performing physical labor, which made it impossible for older adults to work many of those jobs in their later years.”

“I think that the research now bears out that people’s health outcomes and longevity both increase when they work longer,” said Bridget Sullivan Mermel, CFP®, CPA, host of “The Chicago Money Show” and the YouTube channel, “Friends Talk Financial Planning.” “From a health standpoint, it keeps you active, but it also gives you a sense of purpose. So, when discussing older adults working longer, the ideal scenario is a job in the last 10 years of their working careers that is not too stressful or taxing physically.”

In terms of personal finances, those who decide to work longer experience nearly exponentially compounded gains. Not only are they able to allow their savings to accrue more interest for a longer period of time before drawing from them, but they can often shift into a lower tax bracket and supplement their financial portfolios. 

“Every year you work longer, you’re giving yourself more options,” said Sullivan Mermel, “you’re getting away from poverty-level income in retirement.” But it’s important that people optimize the money they earn. Paying off credit cards is not a sound reason to delay retirement. In one manifestation or another, people should be contributing to their savings. “You can both pay off debt and save,” said Sullivan Mermel, “but never do away with the latter in favor of the former, or in hopes you’ll begin saving sometime in the future. If you’re going to work longer, you have to get out of this paycheck-to-paycheck thinking habit. Otherwise, you may just be perpetuating an endless cycle and never be able to stop working.”

Why not retire?

The sheer scale of people working past 65 warrants a closer look into the reasons why. Referenced in a 2022 study by Voya Cares, the Bureau of Labor predicts the trend of older adults working longer to keep accelerating. About one of every three people (32%) between the ages of 65 to 74 is expected to be to be working in 2030, as opposed with 27% in 2020 and 19% in 2000. For those 75 and older, the bureau projects 12 percent to be working in 2030, compared with only 5 percent in 2000 and 9 percent in 2020. But the study also dug a bit deeper than other surveys on this topic:

• 60% of those surveyed by Voya Cares said they have less than $500,000 in total savings.
• 22% said they agreed with the statement, “I am confident that I will have enough money saved to live comfortably in retirement.”
• About 43% of those surveyed said initially that they were working to cover expenses but, when pressed for financial details, 92% responded that they needed money for retirement.

Statistics may show that older Americans are working longer. But, as working past FRA transitions into more of the norm in America, people also appear to be losing hope in the possibility of reaching retirement, in choosing not to work. Recent studies by YouGov.com echo the responses in the Voya Cares report:

• 62% say they are either “somewhat anxious” or “very anxious” about their personal finances.
• Only 9% of those surveyed now believe they will retire at 65.
• 27%, more than one in four Americans, now believe they will never retire.

These figures do not cancel the positives of working longer. But they do place them in a different context.

“In general, when it comes to finance and economics,  we tend to discuss everything as choice or options,” said Tanja Hester, author of “Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way.” “That is not always the case for a large number of people. The amount often cited for what people have saved for retirement is slightly above $140,000. But that number is an average—the median would be lower, and the modal would be much, much lower. The largest number of Americans have zero saved for retirement.”

Have we become a nation living paycheck to paycheck?

CNBC recently cited a survey by Vanguard titled, “How America Saves 2022,” which supports Hester’s comments. According to the study, people have saved an average of $141,542 for retirement, but the median account balance was only $35,345, which means half of the accounts were above this number and half were below. This median figure provides a bit truer picture by canceling the outliers that can distort the average amount.

As a consumer society, we have never placed an emphasis on saving money. But wages have also not kept up with inflation and the cost of living over the last several decades. From 1979 to 2018, wages rose five times less than productivity. The current inflation rate of 6% has only made saving more difficult.

“You need to be responsible,” said Gill. “On the other hand, we know that 80 percent of stocks are owned by wealthier people. How do we change that so people can choose not to keep working if that’s what they would like to do?”

recapturing choice

Besides inherited wealth, stock ownership has traditionally been a central means to accumulating revenue in the U.S. Far too many people have overlooked it as an alternative because they either felt they did not have enough money to invest or could not seem to consistently budget money for the purpose of investing. Defined contribution plans like 401(k)s have helped to offer people some exposure in the market, where they can generate savings.

“My first job out of college in my early 20s, I remember maxing out my 401(k),” said Gill. “And the number of people at my job who were contributing nothing, even to the matching amount—which is free money—must have been in the majority, which was absolutely shocking to me.”

If workers still have available income to dedicate after investing in their defined contribution plans, they can consider stocks, but only with a full understanding of the risk. “You should have a bare minimum of $10,000 to $20,000 in mutual or indexed funds before even considering looking at an individual stock,” said Gill. “I’m a financial analyst, but even I am not going to succeed with individual stocks more than about one third of the time. Investing is not sexy. I recommend sticking with index funds and avoiding individual stocks. The easiest and most productive habit can be to set up a regular contribution schedule to something like a Vanguard Index fund.”

Money matters are emotional because they permeate our personal relationships. This is why they demand our careful attention, and delaying them in favor of a more convenient time in the future to deal with them is often a vicious cycle for many of us. We owe it to ourselves to act as preventively with our money as we do with our health issues.

“When my husband and I met and merged our accounts, our first paycheck would go to rent and our second paycheck automatically got deposited into our investment accounts,” said Hester. “The biggest difference-maker for me involves creating automated plans. We all have limited willpower, and we all have limited means of using it every day. So, to expect people to put aside money on a regular basis is asking a lot. If you have a workplace retirement account, automatic contributions help. Also, escalator options exist for these contributions when people get raises or COLA increases. But, if you don’t have those savings options, you can still split your bank accounts and have some of your paychecks automatically deposit into your savings account. I started with $50 in my savings account when I was in my 20s. It doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t. But it added up. So, find banks that allow paycheck splits.”

The reason automation can be so critical to saving for retirement involves human nature—it’s easier not to plan than it is to plan. If we have scheduled automatic contributions to our retirement savings, we can choose a number of budget adjustments to make up for that missing money. However, if we rely on finding the money each month among our other expenses, without an automated plan, we’re less likely to make the contributions.

Some financial planners have suggested that an automatic opt-in to a retirement contribution plan like a 401(k) should be the default when employees are hired, giving them the choice to opt out if they choose to, rather than vice versa, as these plans are set up now. This could allow people to get used to budget adjustments from the very start of their new job and wages.

“Automatic opt-in is one way of trying to avoid underfunded retirement savings, because we don’t always think in our best interests,” said Sullivan Mermel. “As for opt-in savings plans, if we’re going to do it, I want it to be a healthy percentage, I want people to have money in these accounts. Let’s not bother with just 3%, because then, what’s the point?”

Sullivan Mermel recommends that auto deductions be a topic of conversation for financial advisors with their prospects and clients. “Try to figure out what might be interesting to them—if it’s stocks, great, that’s fine,” she said. “You’re still encouraging them to take that money out of their paycheck-to-paycheck cycle of expenses.”  

Reversing the trend in deficit retirement savings can, and often should, involve people seeking out professional financial planning advice. Most financial advisors offer free consultations and can at least offer people the broad details of a financial plan. But many older adults have never taken advantage of this opportunity. Consequently, they budget their money without a financial plan to direct their savings actions.

In order to enjoy the maximum benefits of meeting with a financial planner, timing is key. Waiting until 63 to plan for a retirement at 65 is not a sound strategy. The earlier people meet with financial advisors, the more the advisors can do to mitigate savings deficits.

“I want to meet with someone five years minimum before they want to retire,” said Sullivan Mermel, “so I can implement tax strategies alongside investment strategies and have them both work in unison.”

As one of the founding figures in the “financial independence, retire early” (F.I.R.E.) movement, Hester mentioned some less conventional ways people can prepare for retirement, such as health care subsidies in states that have expanded Medicaid. “These are called ‘advanced premium tax credits,’ “ said Hester, “and they are means-tested and based on income, not assets. If your health insurance could basically become free, that eliminates a huge expense for people.”

For those who live in mid-range to high-cost areas, moving to a low-cost state can sometimes add to their savings, Hester said. But it’s critical to thoroughly research all the costs involved, some of which may not be obvious, such as housing codes, property taxes, state taxes, etc. Some retirement experts even advise visiting a proposed change of location at different seasons of the year to better gauge expenses.

“It’s important to have the traditional diversified portfolio plan,” said Hester. “But also include contingency accounts, like a high-yield savings instrument, an income property that you can rent as long as you are able to and then sell in retirement if necessary, or an inheritance, even small, placed in a growth account. Mortgage payoffs also can work this way to generate retirement money.”

Everyone has their own unique set of financial circumstances, and so they will have slightly different solutions to their paths to retirement. Many financial advisors, for instance, might recommend rolling over 401(k)s to Roth IRAs as a savings strategy, but Hester said even that common practice deserves scrutiny. “Research the cost basis for traditional IRAs, because dividends and capital gains are taxed at a lower rate, so it may be better, unless you’re wealthy, to keep a traditional IRA. Tax avoidance at all costs is not right for everyone.”

what future do we want for ourselves?

Can we celebrate a sense of purpose in the jobs we work as older adults? Is it healthier to age working or playing? Do we want to spend our later years more with our co-workers or our grandchildren?

The world of work is changing rapidly around us in ways that people could not have foreseen 40 years ago. These changes deliver a range of advantages and disadvantages to older workers, as well as new challenges. How will we decide to meet these challenges?

When it comes to Social Security, for instance, there are those who favor a path to privatization and those who would rather expand the public program that already exists. Referenced by CBS News, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study last December showed that doing away with Social Security’s $160,200 tax cap in favor of eliminating the cap for earnings over $250,000 would fund the program through 2046.

If 65 is no longer a reasonable age to retire, what age is? Some members of Congress have rightly pointed out that most Americans are living longer than they were decades ago and can safely work until 70. The CBO’s study found that raising full retirement age to 70, however, would effectively cut benefits for today’s current workers, costing them each an average of $65,000 in payments.

Perhaps there are no absolutes when it comes to private or public solutions for our retirement deficits. People need to act more responsibly in converting their earnings into savings. And we as a society may have to consider options like revising our defined contribution plans, which may require greater responsibility from employers or new legislation from Congress.

“People need to have a financial plan at least 10 years out from the time they want to retire, if not longer,” said Sullivan Mermel. “Maybe a default contribution or some other revision to 401(k)s is the lesser of two evils when compared to dramatically increasing Social Security or administering some other bailout for older adults, which everyone ends up having to pay for in the end.”

None of our options will be easy, and no consensus of opinion will ever likely be reached. But if we want to keep alive our choice to retire, we can no longer wait to act.

Why Are Older Adults Working Longer?

Why are older adults working longer?  By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorWe are about to experience a major transformation of our labor force in the United States. Is it the change we want? Forty years ago, the federal government...

Maximizing Your Next Live Event with Brad Smith

Maximizing Your Live Event Hosted By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistIf you would like more information about booking Brad for your next live event, fill out the form below.Free Guide: High Profile Use of AnnuitiesCall 720-702-8811 or...

How to Grow on Twitter as a Financial Advisor

How to Grow on Twitter as a Financial Advisor  By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistTable of Contents Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your needs.Why Twitter? Setting Up Your...

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How to Grow on Twitter as a Financial Advisor

How to Grow on Twitter as a Financial Advisor



By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Table of Contents

Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your needs.

Today we will show you how to grow on Twitter as a financial advisor. Before we dive in, we want to explain how this can inform and grow your financial advisory practice.

Why Twitter?

Twitter has been around since 2006 allowing users to share their thoughts in small bite-sized chunks. Each day there are 500 million posts from 326 million monthly active users ranging from athletes to politicians. Since its inception, Twitter has changed a lot. 

In 2015 Google added tweets to its search results breaking away from platform-specific messaging and further embedding Twitter in the online framework. In recent years, it has become renowned for being a place of misinformation, outrage, and immediate feedback through crowdsourcing. At this rate, you may be asking yourself, “why would I engage on this platform?”

The answer to this question is simple; word of mouth. 

Financial advisors have a vibrant community on Twitter called #FinTwit. FinTwit stands for Financial Twitter and it is a great way to see what other people within the industry are talking about, trading, and even posting daily information from the markets. 

Many of FinTwits’ users will have lists of the people they follow, their designations in their title, and will help other financial advisors in their understanding along the way. It can be a lonely world out there for independent financial advisors but on Twitter, you have access to many people doing the same thing as you. An added bonus is that in making these relationships you are networking and getting a more personal interaction than you would on Linkedin. The other advantage is that logging in remotely allows you to connect with people independent of being at a conference or needing to be somewhere physically. 

As a financial advisor checking out Twitter for the first time, you might be wondering “Why do I care what these advisors are talking about online?” The answer is because this is the new common space where you can attract new clients and partnerships. According to a new survey from Credit Karma, 56% of Gen Z and Millennials intentionally seek out financial advice online or through social media, and YPulse’s data shows that the internet is one of their top sources for financial advice as well.

The advice that we seek and choose to take in is everywhere around us. We all have sources that we trust and do not trust. This is why it is important to show who you are through your profile. Now that we know we can connect to this powerful network, let’s talk about how to set up your account and show you how to grow on twitter as a financial advisor.

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Setting Up Your Twitter Account

Go to twitter.com/signup and click sign up. You’ll be guided through their setup but if you’d like more in depth information you can also go here for step-by-step instructions. 

One thing worth noting on Twitter is that there are company accounts and personal accounts. It makes sense to have these separately but within FinTwit, most of the people you are interacting with have a more public-facing personal account. For example, they may have an account that is their business name and logo putting out updates but then have an account for their thoughts and interactions. We would suggest the latter as it is more personal for what we are trying to do which is to make connections and network.

After you’ve completed the initial steps of your account it is time to fill out your profile. There are 3 main components you should fill out right away; your bio, your photos, and your pinned tweet.

Your bio consists of 160 characters that sums up your financial advisor Twitter account. This bio can contain text, hashtags, emojis, and handles of profiles you’re affiliated with. Some Fintwit users will also add cashtags. Cashtags are a feature in Twitter allowing users to click on stock symbols and see what the “Twitterverse” is saying about them. If you have qualifications or designations like CFP® or your series 65, add it to your bio. If you need inspiration around what to put in that space, be sure to visit other profiles and see what information structures you like. If you’re using Twitter for your financial advisory practice, over time, your bio will change. 

Next you want to add your photos. You have profile space for 2 photos, your profile picture and your cover photo. Your profile picture should be a picture of yourself to identify that you are a real person and not a bot. Your cover photo can be anything you want from an advertising space where the image contains your website or just something you enjoy like a band or family photo further showing that you’re a person interacting online, just like them. 

Lastly, you’ll want to write a pinned tweet. A pinned tweet is a tweet that sits on top of all your other tweets as the first tweet people will see when visiting your profile. If there’s a message that is most important to people seeing your profile, put it here. This can include a link to your new blog piece, your business website, or whatever you’d like to turn their attention toward.

Bonus: Twitter has an analytics dashboard. You can use your login and password to access information on how your tweets are performing. This will help you pinpoint what people are engaging with and what they are not. Use this to inform what content to share.

Who should you follow on Twitter?

Our Twitter is all setup and we are ready to interact but who should you follow? To start, you should take in the landscape.

For every account on Twitter, you can visit their profile and see who they follow. This is a great starting point as you will need to follow people to have people follow you. From this point of view, you want to choose people who are like-minded, want to talk about the same topics as you, and who engage with those who respond to their tweets. It’s great to have a large follower account but if nobody is interacting with your tweets, you will not reach the number of people you want. 

One of the greatest features on Twitter is its list function. On Twitter, you can go to anyone’s profile and see if they have any public lists. Often these lists will be labeled with who the people within the list are.

For example, if you go to Tucker Advisors Twitter account you can see that we have created our own list of accounts and we follow lists from other accounts. These lists range from people who are adviser influencers to FinServe Friends & Experts. This is an easy way to cut through the noise and see who are the more influential players in the space. We suggest following 20-50 accounts per day as this will both gain you more followers and get your feet wet with the community. This will lead to more profile visits from people you have followed wondering who you are and generating traffic to your pinned tweet. If you are consistent, you will hit a max follow limit at some point. There are Google Chrome Addons, Firefox plugins, and other tools that can help you clear people from your list who you won’t interact with. Now that we’ve seen how to get people to our profile and populate our feed, we need to decide what we want to say. Posting is extremely important for you to grow on twitter as a financial advisor

What should you post on Twitter?

Knowing what to post and what not to post on Twitter as a financial advisor sounds tricky but after a few weeks of following #FinTwit it’s like riding a bike. Once you get in motion, you have a general idea of what to do and what not to do. This is why it is important to follow accounts of aspirational advisors, public figures in insurance, and industry professionals. They can contextualize how to garner a desired response and let you test what ideas help you advance on the platform.

As a general rule of thumb, we would not suggest sharing content that requires compliance approval. Post about things that are relevant to your prospective audience and respond to others in kind. Using media like video and photo will improve your interaction rate on Twitter but be sure that you are not uploading copyrighted material as it may get your tweet removed. If you want to share an article, quote tweet or post a link. Many of the articles you read online have a Twitter symbol at the top of the page to share it to social media.

Grow Your Financial Advisory Practice With These Twitter Tips & Tricks

On Twitter, we suggest an active approach to your follower list. This means following people that are relevant to what you’re doing once a day and unfollowing unresponsive accounts once a month. This will keep a continuous loop of new people visiting your profile while you remove users who are not engaged with the community in a meaningful way. Some may find this transactional but the tool has a built in feature to not follow someone more than once. This way you only interact once and if they’re not interested, we won’t bother them again. If they follow back, we now have a new follower and someone else who wants to interact. To do this quickly, look into SuperPowers for Twitter’s free Google Chrome or Firefox plugin. 

If you want people to engage with what you are doing, engage with what they are doing. If you don’t want to engage with what people are doing, you are following the wrong people. Twitter is an incredible tool if you are selective about the people that you choose to interact with. Do not spray and pray with marketing your business as it will not reflect positively on you as a professional. 

Visit the profiles of big accounts and businesses and follow their lists. Here’s a link about how you can follow others’ Twitter lists. These lists are gold! You can find accounts and information quickly and create custom lists specific to topics in a way that will be 10x faster than searching around on Google.

Our last tip is to learn Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is a fully customizable Twitter feed aggregating tweets from multiple lists in 1 heads up display. This will allow you to consume and interact information at a speed where you can finish all of your Twitter time in less than 15 minutes each day using a powerful tool. The best part is, it’s all free. If you’re thinking about joining Twitter as a financial advisor, feel free to reach out to us on our contact page or send us a direct message on Twitter.







How Can Retirees Outpace Inflation?

How Retirees Can Outpace Inflation


By Sam Deleo
Tucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/Editor

As October drew to a close, our national rate of inflation rose to a whopping 5.4%. The Federal Reserve also announced they would not raise interest rates, but would gradually begin decreasing the bond-buying program they had enacted in order keep credit rates low. While the market remains strong, how does this news affect the savings of retirees or those about to retire? 

One major consequence is that many retirees, who in the past have relied on bonds as secure instruments, may need to rethink this strategy. As Brett Arends wrote in MarketWatch on October 26th, “Last week the U.S. bond market’s prediction of U.S. inflation for the next five years leapt to 2.91% a year—the highest figure this millennium. That tops the inflation fears that surged in 2008, just before the financial crisis, and a previous peak in early 2005, when the housing market was out of control.” 

Many retirees remember the double-digit inflation of the 1970s, along with fuel rationing and long lines at the gas pumps. Arends points out how today’s inflation is much lower, but also much different in context. 

“Back in the 1960s and 1970s, bonds paid high rates of interest. So even though consumer prices were rising by 4% or 5% or 6% for most of the decade, the interest rate on bonds was still higher. So you had a cushion,” Arends writes. “In 1973, when inflation surged to 6.2%, 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds were paying 6.6% and BAA investment grade corporate bonds about 8%… In 1978, when inflation hit 7.6%, Treasuries were paying north of 8% and BAA corporates north of 9%. Bondholders still (eventually) got hurt: Soaring inflation caused bond prices to tumble. And at the peaks, in 1974-75 and 1979-80, the inflation rate overtook their interest rates. But overall the bonds helped compensate them for higher prices. Not today.” 

As of October 26th, the interest on a 10-year government bond was posting around 1.62%, while 30-year bonds hovered around 2%. So, bondholders stand to lose money even if interest and inflation rates don’t rise, and they stand to lose substantially if the latter continues to rise or remain at a high level. Additionally, CD and money market rates are well below 1%, and the average interest for a savings account in the U.S. now tops out around .06%. 

A story in the New York Times last week pointed out that the bond market’s expectations for inflation over the next five years had reached a new high of just over 3%. But whether 2.91%, as Arends wrote, or just over 3%, it’s not great news, and it contradicts the messaging that has been coming from the Federal Reserve about plus-2% inflation lasting only a year or two at most.   

So, how do people who are retired or about to retire combat this inflation? How can they ensure that their savings don’t lose money? Let’s look at a few of the more common options people choose for their portfolios. 

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1. All Equities

Equities should be a part of any portfolio, and some people go so far as fill their portfolios exclusively with equities. In a largely bull market like the one we’ve seen over the last 18 months or so, an all-equities strategy would have greatly exceeded the rate of inflation. For people 10 or more years away from their retirement, this strategy could work very well, provided they have the time and expertise to study stock options every day and/or can rely on a financial advisor to help them with their choices. In the worst-case scenario of a market crash, these individuals would still have time for the years a portfolio recovery would necessitate. But for someone retired or nearing retirement, this strategy could be fatal to their portfolio. 

Market crashes can take five years or more for people’s financial portfolios to be made whole again. If people looking to retire or already retired are relying exclusively on equities for income, a crash, or even a steep correction, could effectively either end or greatly delay their retirements. In all likelihood, they would need to continue working for many more years or reenter the work force they left. An all-equities approach is much too aggressive to safely fund a retirement, and it carries risks that could be devastating to a retiree’s portfolio.


2. Stocks and Bonds Blend

A stocks and bonds mix is one of the most common strategies people choose for their financial portfolios, and many of us have traditionally believed in it as an approach that strikes a healthy balance between risk and security. But maybe we haven’t been accurate in that belief. 

Economist Roger Ibbotson and his team at Zebra Capital Management ran hypothetical return simulations from the years 1927 to 2016, which included both rising and falling yields. Their research showed that, net of fees, fixed indexed annuities had an annualized return of 5.81%, compared to 5.32% for long-term government bonds. The return for large-cap stocks over that period was 9.92%, again proving that an all-equities portfolio is a strong choice for those not yet retired or preparing to enter retirement. 

Ibbotson’s study also showed that during below-median bond return periods from 1927 to 2016, a 60/40 stocks and bonds portfolio returned 7.6%, on average. For a 60/20/20 stocks, bonds, and fixed indexed annuities portfolio, the return for that same time was 8.12%. And, a 60/40 stocks and fixed indexed annuities portfolio produced 8.63%. Individually during the below-median periods, fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) produced a 4.42% return, while bonds returned only 1.87%.  

In above-median bond return periods, FIAs reduced returns, with long-term government bonds returning 9% and FIAs only 7.55%. Ibbotson explained that, in falling yield environments, a large portion of the bond return is capital gains, enabling them to outperform FIAs. 

“I’m not necessarily advocating you go all in,” Ibbotson said about FIAs in the paper. “I think combinations of stocks and bonds and fixed indexed annuities are good.”


3. All Annuities

But what if someone did go “all in” on fixed indexed annuities in a portfolio, as Ibbotson mentioned. How would that play out against inflation? Not very well, actually. 

Even strategically chosen annuities—and let’s be clear, annuities should not be purchased any other way—will likely not be able to hedge against a sustained inflation rate of say, 5% or thereabouts. An annuity that pays someone $800 per month in 2025 will still only be paying $800 a month in 2035 or later. Also, the interest offered by annuities does not compound in the same way as the rate of inflation. If the participation rate of an annuity is 87%, for instance, and the interest is at 4%, it is easy to conclude that the purchasing power of this money would actually decrease in years of high inflation, much in the same way annuities cannot capture all of the gains in a high-growth market. 

There are inflation-adjusted annuities, known as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), but the rate of return reported on Oct. 21, 2021, for a five-year TIPS was -1.685%, a record low. This means a policy holder is earning 1.685% below the inflation rate, or, according to TIPSwatch.com, investors are paying about $109.51 for $100.14 of value.



4. Annuities and Stocks

The stock market is not going to outpace inflation every single year. But as an average, it has definitely beat inflation throughout the history of the market. 

As Ibbotson pointed out, during a below-median bond market period like the one we find ourselves in, a 60/40 stocks and fixed indexed annuities portfolio produced an 8.63% return over the near 90-year period of his study. In this blend, the annuity portion of the portfolio is not expected to compete with inflation, because it can’t, and that’s not what it is designed to do, anyways. The equities take care of that, as an average over time, while the annuities anchor future income for retirement. 

Those retirees who still feel inclined to add stocks to their portfolio can do so, but they should read Ibbotson’s study first. His research shows that there is no historical market evidence to choose bonds over annuities for the “safe money” portion of one’s portfolio—especially in high-inflation environments like the present.  

“Because of issues like inflation, longevity, and income insecurity, to name just a few, the first step for any person preparing for retirement is to meet with a financial planner who specializes in retirement planning,” said Tucker Financial President Darren Petty. “This way, people can better identify the assets they need to take risks with in order to outpace inflation. Many folks are being forced out of low-risk investments now, and it’s been happening for a long time, actually. So, people move from fixed income, like bonds, into equities. Make your income-producing assets produce income and let your growth assets grow. That’s the foundation of any retirement plan: Identify the portion of your portfolio that needs to pay you in retirement, and therefore, isn’t exposed to catastrophic losses. And then, place the remainder of the portfolio in equities.”

“Especially given the fear of inflation, it’s easy for us to fall into the myth that all of our income always has to be increasing,” said Petty. “But that is usually not the best way to secure income for the future. Also, it ignores the fact that some annuities are paying 5.5% to 6% in interest.”

The No. 1 way for retirees to worry less about inflation is to get their asset allocation right. A balanced retirement portfolio should have growth assets and income-producing assets.

How those asset allotments figure into a sound retirement plan is different for everyone. But, with the help of a retirement planner, it’s the key to a portfolio unlocking the threat of high inflation.



For more information about retirement strategies to outpace inflation, email Jason.Demers@TuckerAdvisors.com or Kyle.Savner@TuckerAdvisors.com. 


  1. MarketWatch 
  2. The New York Times 
  3. Fixed Indexed Annuities: Consider the Alternative,” Ibbotson
  4. TIPSwatch.com 

– For Financial Professional Use Only. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

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How to Get Qualified Leads from Facebook

How to Get Qualified Leads from Facebook


By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Table of Contents

Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your needs.

As a financial advisor, you are likely always hearing about how you need a presence on social media. But what is necessary and what is fluff? Is it better to have a Facebook page or should you setup all of your socia media sites at the same time? The answer to both of these questions is unique to the advisor and what is working to elevate their business online. At the core of these questions is a conversation about making quantifiable, long-last gains in the race for business attention online.

To start, we will take a look at the largest social media platform, Facebook. Facebook has roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users as of the 2nd quarter of 2021.


The next biggest social media site is YouTube, but if you take a look at the top nine social media platforms, it is clear that Facebook has a large investment in the social media landscape with multiple properties in the top 10 (AP Style is numerals for 10 and above). It’s also worth noting that some of these other platforms are included in where you can place your Facebook ads. For example, you can have your Facebook ads delivered on Instagram.


Now that we’ve chosen a platform with enough users to advertise and segment, it’s time to talk about data. When a user fills out their Facebook profile, they are voluntarily giving information that will shape the ads they are served. We will talk more about how ad set targeting later in this post, but it is important to note that Facebook’s ads are effective because they’ve taken out a lot of the guesswork. Individuals volunteer their age, what they do for work, and other information when they make their profile.

Instead of going to a third party for information that will decay with time, you are going straight to the source—the individual. While your interactions with previous ads on the site may shape what you are shown in the future, your age, location, and profile information set the stage for them to show you things you’re more likely to interact with.

For your financial advisory practice to advertise, you will need to fill out a profile referred to as a business page. Let’s dive into why you should create a profile, step by step instructions, and how you can create some ads.


Setup Your Facebook Business Page

By creating a Facebook page, you can invite customers to follow your posts, run ads, and provide customer service through an easy to find webpage. Additionally, you can promote events, share an offer, or post an open job. There are a lot of reasons to get a Facebook page but its relative value will remain just that, specific to you and your marketing needs.

Your Facebook page can also show up in Google search results, giving users another place to find you online. Creating a page is not a silver bullet for generating more traffic to your business, but it will give you useful tools that will take more time and effort to incorporate into your website.

Now that we’ve decided to create a Facebook page, it’s time to look at step-by-step instructions to complete this task.

To create a Page:

  1. Go to facebook.com/pages/create.
  2. Click to choose a Category.
  3. Fill out the required information.
  4. Click Create Page.
  5. Add an optional profile or cover photo, then click Save.

We could write an entire blog entry about filling out and optimizing your page. With that in mind, we suggest following this checklist from Hootsuite. As a general rule of thumb, we would also suggest having the following information on hand when completing your Facebook page’s information:

  1. Physical Address
  2. Email Address for contacts
  3. Business Hours
  4. Website URL
  5. Company or Advisor Bio
  6. Media or Content (Professional Headshot and/or Professional Logo)

Once your page is completed, you’ll be encouraged to make a post. Making a post is a great way to get the word out about your business, but who sees those posts? Your followers. What if you don’t have any followers yet? Next to nobody will see the post. For your posts to reach a person’s Facebook feed, they’ll need to like or follow your page.

In a lot of ways, this is how social media can become such a time-consuming project. While Facebook does offer ways of getting people on your page, most of them require either your time or your money. One should also note that when you make a Facebook post, not everyone who follows you will see it. This metric is called organic reach.



This is why we aren’t talking about social media strategy and content. We want to spend our time and money on tools that will give us the maximum return on investment in a more short-term timeline.

If you are looking to build followers and organic reach, it would fall into the category of social media management. Right now, we are just getting our page set up because it is required for us to run ads.

Facebook Ads Manager

From your Facebook page, you can “Boost” a post. This means that you can take one of your Facebook posts and create an ad from it. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook, but it lacks a lot of the tools that are provided through Facebook Ads Manager.

In Ads Manager, you can A/B test different ad copy, create custom audiences, and really nail down your process, whereas boosting a post cannot. Being able to choose different ad placements, choosing cost-per-click or cost-per-impression, or using advanced targeting capabilities are vital steps in creating a campaign that works. Giving $10 to Facebook to show your ad to more people in a geographic area just won’t cut it. Facebook Ads Manager doesn’t have a cost to set up but it will take time to get your campaigns the way you want them.

In order to advertise with Ads Manager, you’ll need to have a Facebook page or have a role on someone’s page. Any page you create will have an associated ad account and ad account id created by default. Go to https://www.facebook.com/business and click create an ad to get started.

 Create a Facebook Ad Campaign

We’ve created a Facebook page, started our Facebook Business account, and now it’s time to get acquainted with Ads Manager. We want to create a new campaign. The next dialogue you will see includes different campaign objectives. See below:


You will be tempted to skip awareness for consideration and conversions but there are very valuable insights to be gained from the awareness stage. Facebook’s tools include being able to show ads to people who have interacted with your ads in the past. When we talk about qualifying interest, what better way than to tap into people you’ve reached in the past?

As consumers, we consistently interact with the same brands because we see value in the outcomes we receive from choosing them. If we haven’t heard of a brand or service, it will take greater upside potential for us to take the risk of trying something new. How can you make that decision without knowing about the product or service? We need to make people familiar with your brand in order for them to trust they are making the right decision.

All this to say, don’t skip to lead generation or conversions prior to creating audiences that are ready for this step. You will see that finding a financial advisor is a personal process. It’s not the same as seeing a $10 product ad and taking a chance. You wouldn’t choose a financial advisor based on a Facebook ad, but you would read an article on retirement readiness on their website.

Ads manager is a great place to customize who sees what, the order in which they see it, and when is the right time to make them an offer they can’t refuse with an expert (hint: you’re the expert). Here’s an example of this process in action from the user’s point of view.

I’m a 59-year old male in the geographic location of the advisor serving ads. This is information that Facebook has on me because I filled out my profile. Scrolling through my feed, I see an article on the “5 Things to Do Before Retiring” on your website. It is a well-written, compliant article and I’m now aware of this advisor’s practice because the information is valuable, his office is locally listed in the post, and I want to know more about how I can retire.

A week or so later, I see another ad saying that this advisor is hosting a live event but spaces are limited. I think back to the article I read and realize I have more specific questions about my own financial situation, so I click the ad and fill out a form giving my name and email address.

This scene shows a simplified version of the customer journey that is more realistic and personal than putting up a form on Facebook that people can fill out. The process appealed to our user’s age, location, and interests. It didn’t ask him for his information right away and it allowed him to see that the advisor in question was an expert.

For the advisor, his brand awareness ad gained interest with his key, local demographics; it showed him to be an expert in his industry; and because his ad campaign is set up with a custom audience, he can now give a more personalized message to the user based on what he or she clicked.

One more thing to note on campaign types is how they are billed. For some campaigns, they are billed per impression (views). Some campaigns are billed by clicks, meaning you won’t be charged unless someone specifically clicks on it. The Facebook bidding process can get dense when you get down to how cost-per-click and cost-per-impression are billed, so we would suggest using cost-per-impression for brand awareness and top-of-the-funnel ads to qualify interest, and cost-per-click ads for consideration and conversion-based ads.

Choosing a campaign type is important, but we really need to key in on how we can target the right people for the campaign. With that in mind, it’s time to talk about ad sets.

Ad Sets, A/B Testing, Audiences

Ad Sets

Campaigns can hold multiple assets. This way, you can keep all of your different audiences within the same campaign. You may be asking yourself why you would have multiple ad sets in one campaign. If you were doing a campaign, you might have one ad set aimed at people that are in your key demographics and locations. You may also have an ad set of people who had previously clicked on your ad. So set one is for people to qualify their interest and set two is for people who have already interacted with your brand, are in your demographics, and in your location.

This puts in perspective how you can qualify your audience as you go. As more people interact with your first ad set, you have more people to advertise to in your second ad set. This is how you can qualify traffic using Facebook’s tools.


A/B Testing

An added bonus is that ad sets contain multiple ads, so you can test different messages at different stages to see which perform best for cost and click-through-rates.

Without structure, this can get very confusing, very quickly. As a starting point, we would suggest A/B testing your images, your ad copy (text), and your ad content. In reality, you can A/B test just about anything with enough time and organization.

As an example, you have three articles on three retirement topics that you are using to qualify interest. For each article, you should create three images (nine total) and three sets of copy for the ads you intend to send. In total, your ad set will have three articles but will have nine ads.

You might be asking yourself, why make all these duplicates? What purpose is this serving?

What this does is, it shows you each variable independent of the others. This way, you can look at the data and decide what works best based on cost, clicks, and click-through-rate. After a few weeks of running the ads, you’ll quickly see your winners and losers with more detail than just running one ad for each article and evaluating what’s wrong in broad strokes.

If you see that you have three ads with the same article but different photos, you can deduce that you shouldn’t use a type of photo and shift your spend to the ad version that is getting better results. This way, you will see better results in the proceeding weeks using the data Facebook was able to gather.


Facebook is very good at gathering data; one could argue they’re too good at gathering data and that’s what gets them in trouble. The true power of Facebook ads is in their custom audiences. Targeting users based on their location and age is great but there are much more powerful tools at your disposal.

Custom Audience is an ad targeting option that lets you find your existing audiences among people who are on Facebook. You can use customer lists, website traffic, or engagement on Facebook to create audiences of people who already know your business.

For example, you could have a list of your current clients. If you wanted to upload to Facebook and advertise to them, you can. If you’d like to upload this list and create a “lookalike audience” of people with similar ages, interests, and locations, you could do this. Keep in mind that the number of people that Facebook can pull in is dependent on how extensive your list is.

Another example of a custom audience is a website visitors’ audience. If someone has visited your website in the past either through their own searching or through a Facebook ad, you can advertise to these people. Keep in mind that having the Facebook Pixel installed on your website to signal who has and hasn’t been to your site will be required.

Lastly, audiences come with projections of how big or small they are. Depending on all the segments you add to your audience, you’ll need to have enough people in that pool so that you are not serving the same people the same ads. Whatever audience you choose, be sure not to narrow that audience to a point where you cannot gather data. The audience features can do a great job in qualifying interest, but your content should help you determine interest from users.


Using Facebook Ads for Qualified Leads

Now that we’ve created a Facebook page, setup Ads Manager, and learned about what is capable without ad targeting, it’s time to think through how you can qualify leads.

All the bells and whistles in the world won’t help you if you’re not using them properly. To start, you need something of value that your target demographic will want to click. We suggest articles and downloads that will allow them to educate themselves on a topic specific to them and your business. This could be an article about how to maximize retirement readiness or a checklist of information on how to retire tax-free. These pieces should introduce you as an advisor who can help them, include a way to get a hold of you, and appeal to their curiosity about the process.

From a wider view, you are trying to take someone from a place where they see pictures of grandkids to where they’re thinking about their retirement. Skipping this step will not help the success of your campaign.

Creating an audience of people who have interacted with your ads or brand, then serving them a download that requires their email address or giving them an asset they can use will always work better than offering nothing. In the short term, it is more work on the front end, but in the long term they are showing you that they fit who you are looking for and signaling back to you what they are ready for.

The best part of this is that you can decide how fast or slow you’d like this to happen. Campaigns can be marked with start and end dates, limiting the amount you are spending and giving you complete control of your budget. If you’d like to spend $5 or $500 per day, you can make that decision and Facebook will follow your lead.

When this process is carried out properly, you can review your data and clearly see what ads work, what audiences are yielding good prospects, and find logical improvements to your process. From here, you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert building brand awareness around your practice and attract new clients through social media without needing followers.

If you have more questions on how to use social media for your business, be sure to visit www.tuckeradvisors.com/blog.








Neil Patel

Washington Post

If you are looking for more ways to market your financial advisory practice, see this presentation from Tucker Advisors CMO Justin Woodbury.

If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy, visit here.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.