The Five Attributes of Highly Effective Retirement Planning Websites

Financial planning sites must feature right information and tools for consumers and financial services pros, alike. Here are five attributes you’re likely to find on sites that are making the grade.

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Depending on your source, anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million websites are created every day. Yet how many not only survive, but thrive, over the long term because they find the right formula for success? For retirement planning websites, that means having the right information and tools for consumers and financial services pros, alike. Here are five attributes you’re likely to find on retirement planning sites that are making the grade.

  1. Make it easy: This comes back consistently across all websites as the primary driver of user satisfaction. If users can quickly and easily find what they are looking for, and the navigation is as intuitive as possible, they will have a positive experience.
  2.  Make it multimedia: According to The Washington Post, every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. This tells us that people have an appetite for video. It is also well documented that many people are visual learners, presenting content in a visual format has proven to be a popular way of conveying information in a medium that is easily digested by the consumer.
  3.  Be ‘calculating’: Have calculators that help people customize content around what they need: We can speak in generalities, but people want to know “what does this mean to me?” By including calculators, you’ll help move content from the general or theoretical to the specific and, therefore, the content will be more immediate and have a greater impact. Websites with calculators, whether they be for a car loan, a mortgage payment or a projection of the pressures on a retirement income portfolio, tend to be more popular than those without that functionality.
  4. Let them talk about it: If information presented on a website is only an academic exercise, it can only have so much of an impact. If the client can take the information they glean from the website and get it into the hands of the financial professional helping them to plan for the financial realities of retirement, the information becomes that much more important, effective and, most importantly, useful.
  5. Let them revisit and reengage: If the website has some type of bookmarking feature–that is, the user can come back to the site and not have to start their experience from scratch—it encourages repeat users and better suits an individual’s busy schedule. Unfortunately, people don’t allocate the time they should to research some of the most important decisions they will be asked to make to secure their financial future in retirement. They often “fit it in” to their busy work and personal lives. If the website enables them to do the bulk of their research by simply allowing them to bookmark materials, create a folder of content that is interesting to them or create and build a profile, they are more likely to invest the time and reengage with the site through multiple visits.

And the more they visit, the more business you’re likely to see.


Reid Alan Coyne // Reid Coyne, Director, Sales Technology Group, has 10 years of experience cultivating relationships with Financial Professionals while helping them to grow and manage their business. In his efforts, Coyne has presented across the country at Broker Dealer conferences, focus meetings and in individual settings. As a key figure in the industry’s only in-the-field technology implementation and instruction force, Coyne’s core focus is helping financial professionals integrate technology and online tools into their business.  Coyne has a B.A. from Green Mountain College. He currently holds FINRA Series 6, and 63 registrations and designations, and is a certified continuing education instructor.

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