Bucket Bliss: Segmenting Retirement Investments into Lucrative Buckets

Stephen Swensen, Founder, Bucket BlissStephen Swensen, Founder
Post-retirement planning is a critical endeavor, both for the retiree and the advisory. As retirees conjecture on their investments and income alternatives lying ahead, their asset management advisor has a significant role to play in helping them formulate the right retirement income planning strategy. In addition to an immense level of dexterity and awareness of the dynamic investment market, the advisor must also bear in mind the intricate requirements of the client while delivering a simple and tested approach to execute their investment strategies. Bringing this simplicity to consumers embarking on their pursuit of post-retirement financial planning, Bucket Bliss comes into the picture with its reliable bucket strategy.

Stephen Swensen founded Bucket Bliss as an income planning strategy to help the growing demography of baby boomers design their retirement income plans. With a vision to empowering advisors with a tool to devise an appropriate income strategy for their clients and help these retirees cherish their retirement bliss, Swensen incorporated the bucket strategy as a business model and became an expert on timing the income of retirees for them.

The bucket strategy operates on the premise of segmenting the client’s existing assets into four different portfolios or buckets. The investments going into the first bucket are relatively conservative as the retiree will be spending money from that for the first five years. The investments made in the second bucket are more aggressive and are allowed to grow for a period of 5-6 years before the retiree starts using it after having spent from the first bucket. The third and the fourth bucket function exactly like the second bucket, growing simultaneously over a longer timeframe of 10-15 years. The bucket strategy is fundamentally easier for the client to understand and communicates well as to why one portion of their money is invested differently than the others and how it is going to be used.

Owing to new features that tap into the ‘ease of use’ on advisor side and ‘ease of understanding’ on the consumer side, the subscription base of our platform has tripled since last year

“It is refreshingly simple for the advisors to explain it to their clients. Once they understand, it certainly becomes easy for these clients to discuss it with their friends and associates,” says Swensen. Consequently, there has been a noticeable increase in the word of mouth advertising of the platform, which adds another feather to bucket strategy’s immense success.

Initially, the company practiced the bucket bliss strategy by developing spreadsheet plans before account reviews. After including the customer requirements and conducting re-evaluation, the entire ordeal of re-creating an updated spreadsheet became tediously complex. Growing beyond its spreadsheet model in 2006, Bucket Bliss incorporated its strategy into a web-based platform to create income plans rapidly and facilitating customization in minutes. Today, the platform has come a long way exhibiting additional features and designed with an intuitive user interface exclusively for the baby boomers to comply with their strategic needs.“Owing to new features that tap into the ‘ease of use’ on advisor side and ‘ease of understanding’ on the consumer side, the subscription base of our platform has tripled since last year,” adds Swensen.

Going ahead, Bucket Bliss plans to bring forth certain technological developments within the platform that would highlight and allow the customers to have an overlook on their spent and shortages. These developments will enable the customer in identifying the overfunded and underfunded buckets and enable the advisor to break down the current portfolio and populate the systems without having to turn over the entire plan. The company also plans on launching a consumer portal where the advisors can analyze and understand their customer’s plans and requirements before going to a meeting. This new advancement will enhance the credibility of the Bucket Bliss platform, by further strengthening the relationship between the customer and the advisor.