After 13 years of volatile markets that have left many retirees with their assets depleted, some of them are taking desperate measures to make ends meet. Recent articles have highlighted three of these methods:
- Reverse Mortgages. Allow a homeowner to monetize their home while living in it. (CNBC)
- Early IRA Withdrawals. Allow an IRA holder to make withdrawals before age 59 1/2 or before Required Minimum Distributions start. (Forbes)
- Pension Loans. Allow a pensioner to monetize their income stream. (NYT)
None of these are sustainable and they all put the retirees at risk of running out of money. If utilized, they should be used to fund living expenses and not investments.
Under the FINRA Suitability Rules (2111), "investment strategies" are covered, so a recommendation by a Registered Representative for a client to use one of these strategies would come under the rule. This is similar to the "Liquified Home Equity" strategy that became common during the housing bubble. (NTM 04-89)
Compliance and supervisory personnel should monitor accounts for deposits from these strategies and insure that they are not going into securities - a sequence that would almost certainly involve fees and/or penalties from the liquidity source and fees from the subsequent reinvestment.