Tools to Help Clients Understand the Sequence of Returns Risk

  • Originally published September 24, 2018 , last updated September 27, 2018
  • Income ArchiTech
Tools to Help Clients Understand the Sequence of Returns Risk


Helping clients understand the sequence of returns risk can be tough.

They struggle to understand how, under sufficiently adverse market conditions, withdrawing only 5% of their nest egg each year could begin to deplete investments that averaged a 10% return over 20 years.

Yet it may be your responsibility as their advisor to help them understand and mitigate the so-called sequence of returns risk.

So, how do you help clients understand this complicated concept?

Client-facing Flyer Explains Sequence of Returns

You could use carrier-produced brochures aimed at explaining the sequence of returns risk to consumers, but today’s client may be skeptical of any information coming from a specific company that’s selling a product. Senior Market Sales® has developed an easy-to-understand, one-page printed piece that you can customize with your company name. Because it is not specific to a certain carrier or product and has an explanatory tone, it positions you as an educator, helping clients understand a major risk to their retirement, not promoting a particular product or solution.

The customizable flyer can be used in appointments or at educational events, with existing clients or prospects. Many carrier pieces take multiple pages to explain the sequence of returns risk, but the SMS piece boils down the complicated concept into one page — another bonus with today’s busy and often distracted consumer.

A Tool to Demonstrate the Concept

You also can demonstrate the sequence of returns risk using Income ArchiTech™, an SMS all-in-one planning tool. You simply upload a client’s information and run various risk scenarios, including how starting withdrawals in a bear market could cause devastating losses. While the one-sheet flyer shows the same impact and also compares it to the impact of negative returns in the later part of retirement (flip-flopping the sequence of returns), the tool resonates with clients even more because the easy-to-understand graphs and charts show the income decline using their own money, not a fictional character’s. Because they grasp the concept almost immediately, this saves you time and moves you to finding a solution faster.

Income ArchiTech goes beyond just showing the risk. It helps you illustrate various possible solutions, whether annuities, life insurance, long-term care insurance or a combination. It helps you address whatever concerns your clients have about retirement. And it’s designed to be simple for all types of retirement planning professionals. But, if there’s anything you do have questions about, you simply call SMS — because when you partner with SMS to get the tool, you also get access to our team of insurance experts and our expansive portfolio of products. We work to help you connect the client with the solution for their specific circumstance.  

If you’re interested in the sequence of return flyer or using Income ArchiTech, call an SMS Marketing Consultant at 1.800.786.5566.

Or to see the powerful tool in action, watch a demo of Income ArchiTech.