Facts & Resources

Merrill Lynch Expands Capabilities to Help Clients Prepare for and Live Their Best Life in Retirement

Merrill Lynch Clear® Enhancements Across Seven Life Priorities Help Explore Opportunities and Challenges, and Achieve Goals

Thursday, February 5, 2015 10:47 am EST



Public Company Information:

"This dynamic approach is helping to better connect more people’s lives to their finances through broader, more personally meaningful conversations with their financial advisors about their priorities."

Merrill Lynch today announced a series of enhancements to Merrill Lynch Clear®, a pioneering approach that offers a more comprehensive way of helping people navigate to and throughout retirement. Introduced in May 2014, Merrill Lynch Clear modernizes the process of preparing for retirement through an exploration of seven distinct life priorities – including health, home, family, finance, giving, work and leisure – to help achieve desired outcomes.

“We’re continuously exploring and adding powerful capabilities to Merrill Lynch Clear,” said David Tyrie, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This dynamic approach is helping to better connect more people’s lives to their finances through broader, more personally meaningful conversations with their financial advisors about their priorities.”

New enhancements to the Merrill Lynch Clear approach announced today include:

  • Exclusive access to luxury travel advisors - Through an exclusive relationship with luxury travel network Virtuoso®, Merrill Lynch clients now have access to the world’s leading travel advisors. A by-invitation-only organization, Virtuoso helps Merrill Lynch clients plan their free time via high-touch travel services through a dedicated Virtuoso Affiliated Advisor who understands how travel and leisure fit within their broader life priorities. With a deeper level of knowledge about each client’s preferences and needs, these travel advisors can oversee all travel arrangements before, during and after the trip to help ensure a successful experience. Merrill Lynch clients also have access to Virtuoso’s exclusive benefits and specialty partners, including luxury resorts and unique experiences.
  • Ground-breaking longevity training program Merrill Lynch and the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology have developed a first-of-its-kind training program to help Merrill Lynch financial advisors and retirement specialists better understand and address the evolving needs of the nation’s aging population and their families. The new program offers insights into the latest advances, research and experiences in the field of gerontology – which includes the sociological, psychological and physiological aspects of aging – through on-demand videos featuring USC professors, online courses and reference materials, and web-based best practice presentations and knowledge sharing.
  • Innovative and integrated apps – Among Merrill Lynch Clear’s unique resources are a series of iPad “Discovery Apps” designed to help facilitate deeper, more meaningful conversations between advisors and clients about their desired outcomes. In addition to existing apps focused on the seven life priorities and other complex aspects of retirement, two new enhancements include:

    • Sequence of Returns iPad App which illustrates the risk associated with receiving low returns on a portfolio early in retirement. This interactive resource helps advisors bring personalized scenarios to life for clients and prospects who are concerned about outliving their money or aren’t aware of the risk of experiencing poor market returns at the beginning of their retirement.
    • An integration of the Merrill Lynch Clear Discovery App, Goal Explorer App and Investment Personality Assessment App into a single application. This helps advisors facilitate and move more seamlessly through in-depth conversations with clients about their life priorities and specific goals, and to probe more deeply into their underlying reasons for investing – all through a single interface. Working with their advisor, clients can return to the app and interactively adjust the relative importance of each life priority and add and refine goals as they evolve throughout their lives.
  • Expanded resource library – One of the cornerstones of Merrill Lynch Clear is deeper levels of education and insight about life priorities and concerns to help people make informed decisions. Since May 2014, more than 130 articles, videos, guides, seminars and other rich content have been added to the program’s content library.
  • New insights into retirement realities – Merrill Lynch has partnered with Age Wave to conduct the largest, most comprehensive series of retirement studies, each deeply exploring one of the seven life priorities. Since May 2013, the partnership has led to four landmark reports, including: Americans' Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus (May 2013); Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room (November 2013); Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations (June 2014); and Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown (September 2014). The next study in this series will be published later this month and focus on the hopes and concerns of retirees and pre-retirees when choosing the type of home and community to live in during retirement.

“Merrill Lynch Clear has changed the way my clients and I discuss retirement,” said Lisa Kent, a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor based in Princeton, N.J. “Rather than focusing on a number or benchmark, our conversations more often focus on their dreams, hopes and goals, and how I can help them achieve them. It’s a much more personalized, holistic approach that helps me better meet their needs.”

Since May 2014, 8,600 of Merrill Lynch’s more than 14,000 financial advisors have begun to leverage Merrill Lynch Clear resources to help deepen conversations with clients.

“My team takes great pride in helping our clients envision and achieve their ideal retirement,” said David Leland, a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor based in Beverly, Mass. “I’m proud to work for a firm committed to understanding how longevity will affect how Americans plan for and live their lives in retirement.”

Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is a leading provider of comprehensive wealth management and investment services for individuals and businesses globally. With 14,085 Financial Advisors and $2 trillion in client balances as of December 31, 2014, it is among the largest businesses of its kind in the world. Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management specializes in goals-based wealth management, including planning for retirement, education, legacy, and other life goals through investment, cash and credit management. Within Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, the Private Banking and Investment Group focuses on the unique and personalized needs of wealthy individuals, families and their businesses. These clients are served by more than 150 highly specialized Private Wealth Advisor teams, along with experts in areas such as investment management, concentrated stock management and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies. Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is part of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Lynch makes available products and services offered by MLPF&S and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp”).

© 2015 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.


Reporters May Contact:
Julia Ehrenfeld, Bank of America, 1.646.855.3267