joel p. bruckenstein
Throughout the relatively short history of the financial-planning profession, the question clients most often ask their advisers undoubtedly has been "How much do I need to save for retirement?" That's about to change, if it hasn't already. It's a sure bet that the most common question clients ask financial planners is soon to be: "Which will expire first? Me or my portfolio?"
Advisers who can help clients successfully implement a distribution program during the golden years will be in great demand; those who can't will probably be looking for a new career. I believe it's fair to say that solving the retirement-distribution puzzle is the single greatest challenge facing our industry today, and the sheer complexity of the problem puts technology in a central role in arriving at the answers.
When Harold Evensky and Deena Katz invited me to write a chapter about the technology of retirement-distribution planning, I was both encouraged and perplexed. I welcomed the inclusion because technology is often underrepresented in industry literature and at conferences, but I was stumped because right now I cannot discuss a single excellent retirementdistribution software package; I've yet to see one.
Over the years, the profession and the software vendors who serve it have developed some reasonably good tools that can help address the retirement savings question; unfortunately, few if any software programs adequately addresses retirement ...