Forget downsizing to a tony townhouse or retiring to a beach property in a warm climate. Clients are more concerned about having enough money for daily necessities, according to financial advisors polled by Sun Life Financial recently.

A whopping 92% of advisors who responded to the Sun Life Financial study said their clients change their retirement income plans after retirement mainly to avoid running out of money, or to meet non-discretionary costs. More than one third, 34%, said clients adjust their plans to cover essentials, like unexpected health care costs. Just 21% said clients adjust plans to have more money for discretionary spending. Sun Life polled 477 financial advisors in March for the study.

Financial advisors know this means clients will be looking to them to fashion a plan to avert those potential cash shortfalls. Variable annuities, for all of the misgivings that financial advisors sometimes express about them, particularly on the independent side, are getting more attention as a potential solution.

Most advisors in the study, 76%, said clients 50 and older are concerned with having enough retirement income, more so than about stock market volatility. Also, 30% of advisor respondents say clients in that age group named outliving their retirement income as a main concern. Just 15% of respondents said losing money because of the stock market was a main client concern, and only 5% of respondents said their patrons were particularly worried about missing a market rally.

Donna Mitchell is editor of Financial Planning is a SourceMedia publication.

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