Discover Your Client's Financial Planning Personality


When it comes to talking to clients about retirement income, it pays to know their financial planning personality type. A new Alliance for Lifetime Income quiz, informed by research from the Artemis Strategy Group, can help guide the conversation.

The new quiz—“Financial Planning Personality Quiz” —pegs American adults as falling into one of five financial personalities. Each group has a different psychological profile when it comes to retirement planning and financial management. Sophisticated financial professionals know that it’s important to read their clients, that Client X is different than Client Y. What if you had a cheat sheet with guidance on how best to reach and connect with them? That’s what the quiz, with its accompanying materials for financial professionals, offers.

For consumers, the quiz results will give them clear directions to improve their financial picture, including an introduction to the benefits of protected lifetime income. For financial professionals, you can encourage your clients to take the quiz and share the results. Once you know their personality type, you can better engage with them.

What’s behind the quiz? Powerful new research by the Artemis Strategy Group delves into differences by group: the nature of their retirement outlook, their personalities and decision-making styles, and their preparation and current circumstances.

Getting to know your clients via their quiz results will help answer the question, “What’s the best way to talk to this person?” says Dave Richardson, a partner with the Artemis Strategy Group. The quiz goes beyond assessing a client’s risk profile. It assesses what motivates them. Depending on the group a client falls into, you might need to use a different set of examples, a different way of presenting information to them, Richardson says.

Example: For a client who falls into the Ambitious Risk-Taker group, the right advice might be to remind them to cover the basics, explaining “You can still achieve lots of growth in your portfolio, but this is what protected lifetime income would do,” says Anne Aldrich, an Artemis partner. For each group, a cheat sheet offers detailed messaging recommendations and financial planning discovery questions to help guide your conversation. 

  • CAUTIOUS PREPARERS: Show them how to broaden their options. Cautious Preparers have modest retirement expectations and are quite risk averse. More than other groups, they need encouragement. They may have an interest in annuities but low to moderate familiarity with how annuities work.
  • AMBITIOUS RISK-TAKERS: Help them see the possibilities. They’re slightly younger and better educated on average. They want it all—a social, busy and very active retirement. They’re typically in the middle of their accumulation phase, confident in their planning so far, but open to new ideas.
  • PURPOSEFUL PLANNERS: Encourage them to do more. They’ve built up their financial resources and have some plans in hand, so they’re significantly farther along and closer to retirement than folks in the other groups. Purposeful planners are confident and desire a well-rounded retirement life, but they’re more careful. They don’t want to leave their retirement to chance.
  • HOPEFUL STRIVERS AND OPTIMISTIC DREAMERS: Help them gain control and buckle down. Hopeful Strivers and Optimistic Dreamers are at the lowest end of the retirement preparation pathway. The strivers are currently off course, discouraged, and have low retirement expectations. The dreamers may not have given retirement the attention it deserves.

AIG is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

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