Retirement income planning is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Yet many advisors fail to use all of the tools available to them as they plan the best version of their clients’ retirement years, says Robert (Bob) Powell, an award-winning financial journalist who is widely known as “Mr. Retirement.”

In today’s episode of Carson Group and PIMCO’s Retirement Income Series, Bob offers an assessment of what advisors are doing well — and what they could be doing better. In a candid conversation with Jamie and Devin Ekberg, Senior Consultant and Education Advisor with PIMCO, he also reveals details of his own retirement plan.

Bob was a self-described “failed stockbroker” in the 1980s when he took a career pivot to focus on what he calls service journalism, combining his passion for the markets and personal finance writing. A longtime subject matter expert in the retirement space, Bob, a Certified Financial Planner, is perhaps best known for his work as a retirement columnist with MarketWatch, TheStreet and USA Today.

In today’s episode, he talks about industry developments and how the retirement planning space has changed in the last 25 years.

Key Takeaways

  • Retirement planning was built on the 4% rule, and many advisors still use it as primary guidance even though it’s fairly elementary. Clients would be better served if advisors became well-versed in the academic research, some of it contradictory, that is emerging.
  • Most planning involves decision-making around Social Security and personal assets, but there are a lot of non-financial decisions that should be considered as well. Some advisors are reluctant to tackle the issue because they haven’t been trained to talk about non-financials — and that needs to change.
  • There’s a lot of uncertainty around spending patterns in retirement. The distribution side — making your Social Security claiming decision, drawing down your assets — is much more challenging than the savings side, yet there are no best practices to support the distribution piece.


“You’ve got to love this topic, and I do. Each and every day, there’s new products, new research, new regulations – just new things to talk about. It’s not a dry subject at all.” – Robert Powell


Schedule a consultation to learn how Carson can help you help your clients and grow your business. Visit PIMCO to learn more about the work it is doing in the retirement income planning space.

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