Retirement is different for everyone. Some clients want to travel, some want to help their children financially, while others plan to continue working on a part-time basis. And more and more Americans are retiring with debt. This means that financial advisors can’t have a one-size-fits all retirement plan for their clients. Although each client’s financial situation is unique, the one aspect they all have in common is the need for income.

Transitioning from retirement savings to retirement income is not always easy (financially or emotionally) and that’s where the expert advice of a financial advisor comes in. As a specialist, advisors can help clients increase income-producing investments in their retirement portfolios by maximizing retirement contributions during their working years and choosing the right investments for each client’s goals. (For more, see: How to Advise Clients Who Are Behind on Retirement Savings.)

Here are four things to consider when it comes to retirement planning and investing for those who are in their 60s.

Think Capital Preservation

The investment goals for a client in their 60s are very different than a client in their 30s or 40s. Younger generations are focused on increasing the value of their accounts while current and soon-to-be retirees should be focused on preservation of capital. This comes from a combination of conservative investments and maintaining a realistic lifestyle.

Some clients may want to live life to the fullest and spend their money as quickly as possible. However, with life expectancies increasing, retirement savings also need to last longer. It’s better to live on less, with enough money to live comfortably and leave a financial legacy to loved ones than it is to deplete savings early and worry about income for years to come.

Don’t Focus on Growth

With preservation of capital comes choosing the best investment strategy for each client’s needs and goals. For retirees, this usually means allocating a large percentage of their portfolio into income-producing, conservative investments. If a client retires at 65 they may need to live off their savings for 20 to 25 years or more, but at the same time use savings as a primary source of income.

Financial advisors can help clients find the right balance between growth and income. This takes a variety of factors into account such as the client’s risk tolerance, time horizon, investment knowledge, goals and the impact of interest rates. A client’s goals, retirement plan and income strategies can be reviewed every year to ensure that investment options continue to align with their goals. (For more, see: 5 Top Tips for Clients Retiring Within 5 Years.)

Consider Alternative Investments

There are so many different types of investment options available to clients that they don’t need to pick just one. Of course, all investments should align with a retiree's comfort level with risk, but the days of building a portfolio of guaranteed interest certificates of deposit and mutual funds are over.

Clients can now choose from several different alternative investments such as real estate. Purchasing a rental property can provide a monthly income for clients in retirement, but there are also expenses that come with being a landlord.

Plan for What Comes Next

Clients may not want to think about what comes after retirement, but the truth is estate planning is an important part of a financial plan. Advisors should open the discussion and talk to clients about their personal and financial legacy. This includes dividing assets and final costs such as taxes and funeral arrangements.

If clients don’t have enough savings to cover final costs advisors can open the door and discuss the benefits of purchasing life insurance. The older clients are the higher premiums will be, but at least they can have the peace of mind that they won’t leave behind a financial burden for their loved ones after they’re gone.

The best way for advisors to successfully plan for retirement with their clients is to have open and honest discussions. Communication and expectations are key in retirement planning, investing wisely and estate planning. (For more, see: Advisors: Have Clients Try on Retirement for Size.)

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