Nancy is planning to retire in the next  5-7 years. With fewer family commitments (her 2 kids are just entering the workforce), she is an empty-nester who has new-found time to pursue her hobbies. As retirement is around the corner, she’s focused on paying down debt, protecting her wealth and achieving her retirement goals. So what makes Nancy tick and how can finance professionals engage with her?


Pre-retirees (defined as age 45 and up, but not yet retired) are estimated to number 4.9 million – representing a large portion of Australia’s ageing population. According to AustralianSuper’s Retirement Confidence report, pre-retirees expect to retire at a much older age than those already retired (about 10 years), relying more on their superannuation than on the Government Aged Pension as their main source of retirement income.

As will all other personas though, pre-retirees are not a completely unified group. According to a 2017 study by Australian Unity, 36% believe they will be in a comfortable financial position when they retire, but almost as many (29%) believe they won’t.



Not all pre-retirees are ready to retire, but many want to know when they will be able to switch gears. Professional advice is especially relevant to this group, that often need guidance to navigate financial complexities.  

In particular, they’re often looking for help on how to leave a strong financial legacy to their children and grandchildren, navigate tax requirements to ensure a comfortable retirement, and reduce risk so as to support their current lifestyle well into their golden years.



1. Don’t underestimate their digital literacy

A common misconception regarding the pre-retiree or Baby Boomer generation is that they don’t engage with technology. But the truth is generational interests are changing almost as fast as technology itself. AirBnB is a great example – launched in 2008, the platform’s fastest growing segment is now senior women over 60. In today’s world where consumers can order their favourite takeaway food to their doorstep with a few swipes on their mobile, people of all ages are expecting the same level of customer experience from financial service providers.

While some argue that technology reduces the intimacy between the client and adviser, when used the right way, technology can help you foster trust and strengthen client relationships. Pre-retirees often have a surplus of wealth and more complex planning needs, making clarity and timely advice paramount. Technology such as myprosperity, equips you with the tools to bring your client’s entire net worth into one place. Whether it’s helping clients get an up-to-date will or organising their estate planning wishes with the Executor Kit, the wealth portal helps you cement your place in your relationships with clients.


2. Emphasise authenticity

Many people hold the perception that clients engage advisers to accumulate money. But for many older Australians preparing to transition into retirement, their focus has gone from wealth accumulation to preservation. In fact, according to AustralianSuper’s Report, 38% are anxious about retiring, and only a quarter of respondents believe they have enough money saved to comfortably retire.

Tapping into these concerns, and positioning your brand as a trusted, authentic service that can help alleviate them, is key to engaging pre-retiree clients. A company’s website is often where prospective customers form their first impressions, so it’s important your brand strikes a chord. Frame your services with language that’s focused on your clients – their dreams & concerns – and focus on the key points you know are of interest to them, rather than providing a laundry list of everything your firm has to offer. Then, do away with cliche stock photos of the retired couple walking on the beach; instead, use real photos of your staff and clients to emphasise the human side of your firm. After all, prospective clients come to your site looking for ways to achieve their financial and lifestyle goals – not grey haired people wearing linen.


3. Make the complex simple

Finance professionals often overestimate their clients’ financial literacy: according to an Accenture study,advisers felt only 1% of their clients were “not knowledgeable” about investments, yet 25% of clients identified themselves this way. A client may have accrued vast amounts of wealth trading commodities, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to knowledge of how to manage that wealth.

Attract new clients by offering content – whether webinars, blog posts or e-books – showcasing your expertise and educating consumers on key concepts of financial literacy. For existing clients, leverage reporting platforms, cash flow management tools, and client portals to streamline how you deliver services. Technology should enhance the customer experience – not complicate it. Giving your clients a platform they can use as their single point of entry to access their entire financial world, we think, is a good place to start.