“Retirement readiness” has become a buzz term in the financial planning industry. Retirement planning professionals now recognize that it is not enough to simply track participant rates, deferral rates and fund performances. They must be able to demonstrate and measure an individual’s ability to retire successfully — which means providing a higher level of service.
Chris Krueger and Dan Helf, veteran retirement planning advisors based in Madison, Wis., recognized this gap in the industry and worked to formulate a more efficient and personable way to help people achieve long-term feelings of security in the retirement planning process. They developed Standard of (k)are™ — a full-service web application that uses best fiduciary practices to create a retirement readiness tool for 401(k) advisors, plan sponsors and participants.
An Incomplete Picture
Chris and Dan noticed that bold — and bad — assumptions are made in provider-driven retirement-plan reports, leading to an incomplete picture of a participant’s actual retirement readiness. These reports often leave out such valuable information as other sources of income, the participant’s “real” retirement budget, desired retirement age, other savings available and spousal information. They also fail to calculate the participant’s risk tolerance and lack accuracy oversight. In the end, plan sponsors are left to fill in the blanks with best-estimate guesses.
Standard of (k)are tracks and secures additional data to arm financial firms and their advisors with facts necessary to support the processes they use and the guidance they give. Every time an advisor engages with a participant, Standard of (k)are logs the details. These electronic records are stored in a cloud-based system that can easily be referenced during future client discussions.
Why Standard of (k)are?
Standard of (k)are™ was created specifically to address industry shortcomings. With each client meeting, the participant is efficiently guided through various steps to clearly provide an accurate measure of retirement readiness. This includes a risk tolerance assessment, as well as a questionnaire that asks for current plan information, outside account information, spousal savings, budgetary needs and concerns, and specific goals for retirement.
The next step outlines actions required to put that participant in a position to meet his or her retirement goals and achieve retirement readiness. Then Standard of (k)are rolls all participant data into a visual representation of the plan.
This program — certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) — overhauls the retirement planning process from the faceless, large-group boardroom approach to a personalized, client-centered breakroom approach.
Chris and Dan built Standard of (k)are with the belief that the best fiduciary practices are implemented while documenting the conversation and securing the facts via an easy, efficient and effective tool — a method the healthcare industry adopted long ago.
Standard of (k)are has been nominated by Acumium as one of “Madison’s Most Innovative Companies” and will compete against other companies at neXXpo 2017. Learn more.
Acumium created Standard of (k)are’s software with the same attention to detail that Chris and Dan bring to the retirement planning industry. The application features the latest standards and best practices on the Microsoft.NET platform, with a data security system that tracks and tightly controls access. Additionally, the application is housed in a secure hosting facility that meets stringent compliance standards.
Acumium takes the time to understand at a deep level the problems their clients’ products and services aim to solve. Which is how the company’s team of technology experts can arrive at the most powerful and effective solutions.