Every year, thousands of people visit a financial advisor to plan for retirement. Unfortunately, most people don't understand how the decision they're making with their money today will affect a retirement that may be decades away.
BlackRock's goal with the iRetire app was to provide a whole new way for advisors to help their clients close the gap between where they stand today and the income they want each year in retirement. Their challenge? Creating an app powerful enough to serve the needs of financial advisors, but clear enough for end investors to feel empowered to meet their retirement goals.
The iRetire by BlackRock app gives financial advisors a whole new way to help their clients close the gap between where they stand today and the income they really want each year in retirement. It was designed as a simple yet powerful experience to help financial advisors move their clients to action, by guiding a side-by-side conversation about one of the most important yet complex financial topics.
The primary method BlackRock used to streamline the process of helping financial advisors guide their clients was data visualization. By visually representing retirement solutions in an easy to understand and elegant way, BlackRock can help financial advisors to carry their clients to and through retirement.
The app starts by asking for just three inputs: the investor's age, retirement savings, and desired retirement income. Then, in a manner of seconds, iRetire translates the investor's retirement "nest egg" into the number that really matters – the income they could have each year in retirement. It ultimately provides an investment solution that can help get them there – taking advisors and their clients from problem to plan to portfolio in a simple, understandable way.
The iRetire app features the income bar, a graph that shows the distance between the amount of income a retiree's current wealth can pay them annually in retirement and their desired annual retirement income. This is a one of a kind financial milestone that allows clients preparing for retirement to truly understand what their money can do and how to close the gap from where they are today to where they want to be. The investment portfolio chart visualizes the asset allocations underlying each investment recommendation, which are personalized risk tolerance. Lastly, the app features a simple means of comparing different investment portfolios across multiple criteria.
Data visualization was a key factor in success of the iRetire app, but not the only one. The app also benefits from qualifying as a FINRA-approved tool for fiduciary purposes with several partner firms. With the Department of Labor's new rules regarding the fiduciary responsibilities of financial advisors, this tool can provide both investors and advisors confidence in the retirement process.
Most retirement apps and calculators on the market focus on the nest egg or on generating a certain amount of savings per period, but iRetire shifts the conversation to the number that really matters-annual retirement income. Using BlackRock's proprietary retirement engine, CoRI, the iRetire app can tell clients how much they need to save to make to reach their desired annual retirement income. BlackRock's iRetire app can adapt to the realities of life in retirement in a way that no other tool can, and it is done through beautiful, easy-to-understand visualizations.
Before the release of iRetire, retirement was a scary and complicated situation to process. It was difficult to grasp whether or not the decision a client made with their money today would affect them decades from now. The iRetire app is a formidable solution that puts the power of BlackRock to work for advisors and their clients alike. Financial advisors can use it with either existing clients or prospects alike. Although the iRetire app has only recently been released, BlackRock has already seen a difference in deepening client relationships and attracting new business. Advisors have been asking for this, and we suspect it will have a lasting impact on the financial advisory landscape.
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