PIEtech℠, creator of MoneyGuidePro®, announced the latest software release that focuses on helping consumers engage in financial planning in new ways. Proprietary research conducted by PIEtech℠ showed that 95% of consumers recommended creating a financial plan. Yet, only 10% had ever created one and, in most cases, it was informally created without the help of a professional financial advisor. This alarming statistic underscores Americans’ lack of preparedness with regards to retirement and financial planning. It also highlights the overall need to create interest in planning and to engage consumers when they are ready.
STEALTH PLANNING TOOL
In response to this challenge, PIEtech has created an innovative Retirement Compatibility Game called “bliss.” Bliss is designed to help couples learn about their differences and similarities for retirement. They each explore important topics including for example, expectations, concerns, goals, retirement age, risk tolerance, debt, assets and interest in moving homes. The couple receives a score once both individuals have played the game and, together, they can work towards a score with which they are both comfortable.
With retirement lasting longer today than ever before, it’s important for couples to explore and understand their compatibility for a successful retirement. Bliss provides an opportunity for them to talk about important financial planning topics without having to get into a full financial plan. Key client information is gathered for the advisor, making an initial meeting more comfortable and productive. Bob Curtis, Founder and CEO of PIEtech℠ said, “Bliss provides insight, education and information in a fun and engaging way. It’s an entré into retirement planning. We like to call it ‘stealth planning.’”
DEBT REDUCTION TOOL
PIEtech’s experience with thousands of advisors has shown that often clients cannot focus on retirement planning when they are focused on debt. Financial Freedom is a tool that helps consumers optimize the money they allocate towards key debts and savings goals, an essential step in the early stages of financial planning. It calculates a 10-year strategy to maximize the value of retirement savings with an emphasis towards funding an emergency account. Consumers benefit from the month-by-month cash flow strategy that shows where to best apply the money used towards credit card debt, student loans, a special goal, building an emergency account and saving for retirement. This is a great tool for consumers of different ages and stages since even high income earners may often carry significant debt hindering their ability to plan well for retirement. Financial Freedom also provides an opportunity for advisors to help their clients’ adult children.
ONLINE GUIDED PLANNING EXPERIENCE
Building upon PIEtech’s success with myMoneyGuide®, the guided online planning experience, two versions of the tool are now available – Lite and Expanded. The Lite version is designed to help clients who may not want, or be ready, to invest a lot of time and effort into building a financial plan. On average, Lite takes about 30 minutes to complete and gives clients a sense of their probability of achieving their goals. Lite is best suited for those who have a fairly simple financial situation or already plan to meet with a financial professional. The Expanded version takes about 60–90 minutes to complete and results in a more developed plan which can then be reviewed and improved with the help of an advisor.
Bob Curtis said, “We have learned a lot about engaging prospects and clients through myMoneyGuide®. We know that clients find value in the experience – ninety-two percent of clients who completed myMoneyGuide® recommend it.” Curtis added, “However, not all clients are willing or able to invest the time and energy to complete 60–90 minutes of planning on their own. We feel it’s important to provide the client with options so that they can choose how and when they want to engage. This is why we decided to provide the Lite version of myMoneyGuide® – to help clients feel in control. Lite allows them to get help sooner and helps the advisor start to add value quicker.”
In addition to PIEtech’s myMoneyGuide® experience, the proprietary research conducted earlier this year, showed that two out of three clients prefer to enter personal data and discuss their goals at home before meeting with a financial advisor. The research, which measured clients’ stress levels, showed that data gathering from home was less stressful than in-person. It also showed that entering information about retirement savings, such as a 401(k) and asset allocation, could be confusing for consumers. This combination of client preference and need led to the creation of MoneyGuidePro® Discovery Lab which is designed to allow clients to enter their personal information and consider their goals from the comfort of their own home with online educational guidance to ensure quality information. The Lab guides clients through entering personal information, including assets and liabilities, and allows them to explore options such as retiring earlier or saving more through the interactive feature, Play Zone®. MoneyGuidePro® Discovery Labs empowers clients to have conversations about goals and priorities before actually meeting with their advisor and it allows advisors to add human value, advice and recommendations sooner.
USING THE SOLUTIONS
Advisors can reach out to more potential clients by providing a link via their website or an email to bliss, Financial Freedom and myMoneyGuide, Lite and Expanded. They can also share these tools and MoneyGuidePro® Discovery Lab with existing clients directly through the MoneyGuidePro® Client Portal.
“This new software release is designed to help more consumers get engaged in planning.” Curtis added, “Our vision, Everybody Needs and Deserves a Quality Financial Plan, is the driving force behind our passion in creating solutions that help more Americans start planning for a secure financial future.”
ABOUT PIETECH℠, INC.
PIEtech℠ is the creator of MoneyGuidePro®, an industry-leading financial planning software, myMoneyGuide®, an online guided planning solution that allows firms to broadly offer financial planning, and Best Interest Scout℠, a scalable discovery solution to help enterprises obtain necessary client information. For more information visit http://www.moneyguidepro.com.