What is a “Retirement Accumulator” compared to a “Retirement Income Facilitator,” and why does it matter?

  • The Retirement Accumulator is typically the person responsible for accumulating assets or growing assets for you — usually in the stock market or brokerage account. This person’s sole responsibility is to amass as much money for you as possible so that when you retire you have a large nest egg. This type of accumulation is also associated with higher risk and ongoing fees, but is often necessary early in life (up to about age 50-55).
  • The Retirement Income Facilitator (or Distributor) is typically the person responsible to help you design a strategy for your retirement assets so that your money is contractually guaranteed to last as long as you do. You typically begin working with this person when you approach retirement age and this professional person’s responsibility is PRESERVATION andLIFETIME DISTRIBUTION of your assets – in addition to reducing or eliminating risk of losses in your account while also reducing your annual fees. This is the time when you want risk and fees to be at a minimum (typically over age 55).

Can the accumulator also be the facilitator? Sometimes, yes. Does this person wear both hats successfully? Sometimes, yes but often, no. Do retirees know when to switch from one strategy to the other? Sometimes, no.

Here is the difference between the two: A strong retirement accumulator understands that in your working years, the return on your money is critical. A strong retirement income facilitator understands that in retirement, the return OF your money is more important than the return ON your money.

You have worked hard for 40 years to accumulate your retirement assets.  Why leave it in a place
where it could potentially lose value right at the time when you need it the most?