Available on MetLife.com to Help Pre-Retirees and Retirees Determine the Income Mix that Reflects their Attitudes towards Retirement Finances

MetLife today announced the introduction of an online tool designed to help consumers plan for retirement effectively by first determining their retirement income mindset. The Retirement Income Selector, available on www.metlife.com, takes visitors through a series of questions that uncovers attitudes towards traditional investments and guaranteed sources of income so that individuals can find the appropriate balance for retirement.

“The Retirement Income Selector is a fresh approach to traditional retirement planning tools available online. Instead of simply telling those planning for retirement how much they may need in retirement or how they may not have saved enough, the Retirement Income Selector takes into account behavioral economic principles and acknowledges the unique personal, and sometimes, emotionally driven factors that influence the decision many of us make around retirement income needs,” states Julia Lennox, vice president, Retirement Products, MetLife.

How it Works
The Income Selector provides users with simple guidelines for determining how they can generate a retirement income stream that strikes a balance between the need for flexibility and the need for lifetime retirement income. The Selector places users in the midst of a holistic retirement income planning process, helping them to come to terms, on their own, with the challenges they may face in generating a retirement income stream, and allowing them to be a part of choosing solutions with which they will be comfortable.

“When consumers are part of the process, they are much more likely to feel informed and empowered to take action to address their retirement income needs," added Joseph W. Jordan, senior vice president, Behavioral Finance Strategies, MetLife.

The Retirement Income Selector guides visitors through a series of nine questions, designed to uncover how individuals feel about various issues that could impact their retirement income, such as longevity, liquidity and market volatility. At the end of the questionnaire, users are presented with their “income mindset,” or the balance of flexibility and guarantees that is appropriate for them to start building their retirement income solution.

What is Your Income Mindset?
Each income mindset gives individuals a suggested balance between how much guaranteed income they may want to secure for retirement, and how much income flexibility (e.g. retirement income from stocks, bonds and other asset classes) is right for them. Income mindsets range from “flexible income” to “guaranteed lifetime income” depending on the balance of the visitor’s appetite for risk and desire for guaranteed income. Income mindsets include:

  • Flexible Income: The person who is interested in having access to savings at all times may have a “flexible income” mindset. An income mix like this would provide maximum liquidity and flexibility with a relatively small amount of guarantees.
  • Flexible-Balanced Income: For this individual, liquidity is important, but so is a small safety net to fall back on. He or she would likely be interested in an income mix that provides for flexibility but at the same time provides some guarantees.
  • Balanced Income: Both flexibility and guarantees are important to this individual. He or she would likely to be willing to give up some control of their savings in exchange for a more predictable income stream. Individuals with a “balanced income” mindset do still prefer some hands-on management of their investments.
  • Balanced Lifetime Income: Guaranteed income is a high priority for this particular person, but he/she may recognize that flexibility is important because expected expenses to arise. This individual can tolerate slight amounts of market volatility to maintain a degree of flexibility for unexpected events, but a high level of predictability is important.
  • Guaranteed Lifetime Income: Securing a guaranteed stream of income that one cannot outlive is critical to this person. Therefore, he or she prefers a retirement income solution that offers a high level of predictable lifetime income with not a great deal of flexibility.

After determining one’s income mindset, the individuals can print the results and share them with his or her financial professional, or contact a MetLife representative to discuss the specific financial products that when combined will suit their retirement income mindset.

“The Retirement Income Selector complements, and provides balance to, a purely analytical approach to determining the best sources of retirement income for individuals and their families. As users respond to the questions, a clear picture emerges of their personal income mindset and comfort level. This helps individuals manage the risks associated with retirement income and helps financial professionals create a roadmap for creating lifetime income,” continued Lennox.

About MetLife
MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, www.metlife.com.


Joseph Madden