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Advisor Revelations: How Advisors Use the Retirement Income Style Awareness (RISA) Tool With Clients

BY Wade Pfau
August 09, 2022

In this episode, DPL’s Ross McGoodwin talks with Wade Pfau and Shannon Stone about developing the Retirement Income Style Awareness (RISA) assessment, why psychological assessment is an essential first step, how the RISA has transformed Shannon’s approach to retirement income planning, and why the assessment helps both spouses have an equal voice at the retirement table. Learn more at 

Times are changing and gone are the days when investment-only solutions are the default option for clients nearing retirement. However, because investments have long been the primary focus, many advisors fail to recognize clients who aren’t strong candidates for the plan. Without proper assessment, even clients who seem on board with an all-investment approach can disregard everything at the first hint of market volatility. 

That’s why Wade Pfau developed the Retirement Income Style Awareness (RISA) assessment, a questionnaire designed to understand a client’s preferences when it comes to retirement strategies. Shannon Stone of Griffin Black has seen first-hand how the RISA has elevated her initial client conversations, spared her time and energy by eliminating non-viable options from the start, and even differentiated her services for prospective clients.

Key Takeaways
[01:06] - A brief intro to Wade’s new tool and how Shannon’s implemented RISA into her advisory practice. 
[02:37] - Why Wade developed the RISA.
[06:16] - Who pushes back against the RISA and why.
[09:15] - Why Wade chose DPL as a partner.
[13:11] - How Shannon previously approached retirement income planning and how the RISA has transformed those conversations.
[16:35] - How the RISA helps Shannon differentiate her services to prospective clients.
[19:50] - How Shannon puts the RISA results into actionable next steps. 
[27:15] - Why the RISA allows both spouses a voice in the retirement conversation. 
[29:52] - When clients should be exposed to the RISA. 
[32:50] - When the RISA will be more available for advisors. 



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