Proving Value to Retired Clients: Creating a Financial Checklist
Many of us in this society have a very negative image about aging in general. We don’t want to be “old”. It is fueled by advertising on TV, movies, print media and other outlets with a consistent message: aging is bad, being younger and turning back the clock is good. We are a work ethic driven culture. When we are older and no longer “productive” we are generally seen as less valuable.
Then there is the fear and denial about dying and death. Our culture has been called the only one in the world that thinks of death as something optional. Note how we talk about it to family–“in case anything ever happens to me… Besides it being a fantasy that maybe something” won’t happen to us, it keeps us from planning, from preparing our loved ones and from being responsible about our older years, possible declining health and the burden ignoring these things can put on our families. Reaching retirement age is a time to do planning about more than money.
Financial advisors are in the planning business. You look ahead, analyze, budget and calculate. But your clients may not be on the same page in your view of the future. They are busy being in denial that they may ever get ill and die. You can help them. In doing so, it may also make your job of talking about such issues as long term care, budgeting and spending easier.
Most people do not want to burden their loved ones. Most of them do not want to trouble adult children unnecessarily as they age. That is your best selling point for bringing up the personal matters. These include how every senior and every retiree needs to plan for things in their own lives that go beyond how much money they’ve saved and how it will be spent having a great retirement.
Here at AgingInvestor.com we see the messes people leave behind when they nurture the Great American Fantasy that losing independence won’t happen to them and that they will live happily to age 100 and die peacefully in their sleep. Family members can spend years cleaning up the disaster their older loved ones leave because of failure to plan and take care of business. It is truly not fair to anyone. It leads to anger, resentment, family conflicts and sometimes to loss of wealth through ignorance. We’ve heard it and seen it countless times. We put a checklist together to help people avoid these disasters created by the fantasy.
What Can You Do About It?
You can give your clients this checklist next time you sit with them and review the portfolio. You can gently urge them to do what the list says is needed. We’ve broken down the essentials into 10 points, a “to do” list if you will. You can encourage them to take care of the items on the list, if they haven’t already. In general, the to do list includes updating the estate plan, having critical documents in the right hands, providing necessary financial, computer and account information to trusted family and having a family meeting to educate one’s heirs about the older person’s affairs. This is how your client gets a family ready. This is how they avoid unduly burdening anyone. This is how they free their loved ones from distress and unnecessary work when they have to take action as an aging parent declines and passes away.
Some of your clients will brush off your suggestion. They love that Great American Fantasy and aren’t about to give it up. Others will thank you as they have thanked us and will go forward. Their families will be forever grateful. You’ll look like the caring, smart and responsible planner that you are.
Get your free 10 point checklist, Don’t Wait Until You’re Old, click HERE.
Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21
Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017
Click the headline to read the full article. Enjoy!
Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti
The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside
Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard
How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel
According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild
I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing
Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini
Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®. Many of us take our image and reputation for granted. Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke
The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier
Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter
Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond
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