Robo-Advisors, Technology, and Older Participants

In that forgettable yet memorable year as a synagogue Vice President, I had to deal with an older membership base when it came to communicate my events. While most members were proficient on the Internet and could receive emails, there was always going to be a small minority of members that were never going to get Internet access so we still had to mail some event notices and the newsletter out. For the bulk of our members, frequent social media posts and emails helped spur attendance at the events I ran (now that I’m no longer there, it’s like a funeral home except funeral homes do have more events in funerals).

My point f this story is to advise you that when you’re looking at electronic communications for a plan sponsor through participant website access or using a robe advisory service or using the investment advice guys like RJ20, you need to understand that there might be a good chunk of the participant population that may have no access to the Internet at home or work, or have this phobia of doing certain things online. You think it’s funny, but technology phobia is a real thing. For years, I did taxes for a prison guard who never wanted to file online because he thought those filing online would get picked for an audit. As a plan provider, you need to understand that some of your client’s participants don’t want have to do anything with the web because of their own phobias about using the Internet.

So any program or solution that you develop for plan participants, understand that even regardless of age, there are people who don’t want to have anything to do with the web even if it’s going to help their retirement savings.

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