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United Income Launches Robo Aimed at Older Investors

September 12, 2017

United Income has launched a new digital advice platform focused specifically on retirees or people approaching retirement, the company says in the press release.

The new platform, which apparently has already attracted $200 million during its beta stage, comes with a 0.5% annual fee for “self-service financial planning,” including investment advice, according to the press release. The robo includes budgeting and spending features, recommendations on when to retire and claim Social Security and a feature that determines which account to withdraw money from for tax efficiency, United Income says.

For 0.8% a year clients get unlimited access to a dedicated financial advisor and concierge services, which include handling such tasks as Social Security and Medicare enrollment, according to the press release.

Meanwhile, investors can also use United Income’s free service, which includes basic financial plans and recommendations on claiming Social Security, the company says.

The new platform can analyze “millions of potential future market and life outcomes” and then adjust projections for each client based on changing healthcare spending and “other items,” according to the press release. To build its new offering, United Income had brought on policy experts that include former executives of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Security Administration and the Treasury Department, United Income says.

United Income’s new robo is aimed primarily at people between 50 and 70, since those over 50 hold 80% of investable assets, Matt Fellowes, United Income’s founder and CEO and former chief innovation officer at Morningstar, tells the Wall Street Journal. United Income has backing from Morningstar and eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar, according to the paper.

(Getty)

Major financial institutions have been rolling out their own robos or partnering with other digital advice providers. Most recently, Citizens Bank launched a robo platform in partnership with SigFig Wealth Management. Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group have all rolled out robos in the past two years. Merrill Lynch began offering one earlier this year while Wells Fargo began testing a robo advisor this spring. And later this year Morgan Stanley is due to roll out a digital advice platform for the children of its existing clients.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Wall Street Journal article cited in this story, click here.