To stir up sales, Delaware Investments Inc. will soon offer training to financial consultants on meeting the investment needs of people around retirement age.

The "Delaware Decision Decade" program will focus on issues that may arise during the five years before and after retirement, said Terrence Cunningham, senior vice president of the company's financial institutions division.

"Some firms have done a good job of introducing the topic, but I think [they] have been too broad in their approach," said Mr. Cunningham, whose company is based in Philadelphia.

Training will be offered to consultants in banks and other institutions where Delaware products are sold.

The nation's 74 million people over age 50 hold 70% of the national net worth, according to Age Wave LLC, which invests in and buys companies that cater to the mature market.

"Many of the fund companies have increased their initiatives with this market," said a spokesman for Spectrem Group, a San Francisco consulting firm that specializes in the retirement market.

On Tuesday, for example, Fidelity Investments of Boston said it was rolling out an Internet-based service for financial advisers to gather information for clients and access information on sales strategies. The service also references top Web sites related to various stages of life. The service is being rolled out in stages; the first focuses on people who are approaching retirement.

Delaware's campaign will be rolled out in three phases. On May 6 the company will present a multimedia presentation to financial advisers, marketing executives, and senior executives from the broker-dealer community at a symposium in Philadelphia, said Ellen M. Krott, director of marketing at Delaware.

The conference focuses on topics such as business building, lifestyle changes in retirement, individual retirement accounts, and asset allocation. She said the keynote speaker is Hugh Downs, the former host of ABC's "20/20."

In the second phase, Delaware will work with advisers individually or in small groups, Ms. Krott said. There will be talk about how to beef up your practice and speaking the language of retirees, she said.

The third phase involves a series of brochures on such issues as second careers after retirement and how to talk to adult children about your finances, she said.

Delaware, a unit of Lincoln National Corp., had $45 billion of assets under management on Feb. 29, including about $18 billion of mutual fund assets, a spokesman said. It sells products through 25 banks.

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