The Internet is a powerful thing. Every day it seems like we gain access to more information, products, and technology. It’s transformed how we work, how we shop, and how we play. It’s also introduced a huge change to the financial services industry: the advent of the robo-advisor.
Love them or hate them, you have to admit that your job would be tough without the power and automation of the algorithm-driven robo-advisor. And they’ve come a long way, fast. The first robo-advisor had one job: to rebalance assets within target-date funds, allowing investors to manage passive, buy-and-hold investments online. Since then, what they do and how they are used has grown tremendously. Plus, because robo-advisors are available to anyone with access to the Internet, they’ve disrupted the industry’s service model by offering their services at a fraction of the cost of a professional financial advisor.
When automation hits any industry, change is a given. Yet while some feared that robo-advisors would put even the best financial advisors out of a job, it’s clear that isn’t the case. The reason? Robo-advisors simply can’t replace the human touch. Only an inherently unautomated, real-life human can provide reassurance in a rocky market. Only someone with a real human heart can share what it felt like after the birth of a first child, or serve as the much-needed shoulder to cry on in the face of divorce or after a death in the family. And only a living, breathing human advisor can deliver the level of personal financial guidance that’s needed in the face of each of these events and the many others that impact a client’s life.
It’s a value every advisor knows well. But how can you help clients understand how each of their own life transitions can impact their financial future—and how personal financial planning can help ensure that impact is a positive one?
New York Life & Mainstay Investments are here to help. Our new Life Events Planner is an online tool to help your clients explore how specific events affect their financial lives, and offer practical steps to help keep their finances on track. This interactive website addresses each major life event, offering three tips, as well as an essentials toolkit to help manage each transition, including valuable downloads such as worksheets, videos, and other vital information.
While we couldn’t cover every possibility, we‘ve created a top-10 list of events that are the most common in any lifetime, including:
1. Entering the workforce
Tips: Develop and stick to a monthly budget, start saving for retirement, and put your paycheck to work.
Essentials & downloads: Track your cash flow and establish a budget, review and update your beneficiaries, and organize your important paperwork.
2. Planning a wedding
Tips: Make a budget and stick to it, have the “money talk,” develop a joint financial plan.
Essentials & downloads: Tips to reduce wedding costs, strategies for sharing finances, your wedding preparation checklist, track your cash flow and establish a budget, organize your important paperwork, review and update your beneficiaries.
3. Buying a new home
Tips: Organize your VIPs, prepare for the unexpected, and pay yourself first.
Essentials & downloads: Track your cash flow and establish a budget, organize your important paperwork, make a retirement plan.
4. Welcoming a child or grandchild
Tips: Create a financial plan for your new family, explore estate planning, start saving for college early.
Essentials & downloads: Financial tips for your children, track your cash flow and establish a budget, organize your important paperwork, review and update your beneficiaries.
5. Changing jobs
Tips: Monitor your day-to-day money matters, stick to your long-term financial goals, consolidate retirement accounts.
Essentials & downloads: Decide how to receive severance pay, common scenarios and their tax implications, track your cash flow and establish a budget, organize your important paperwork, plan for a secure retirement.
6. Teaching financial responsibility
Tips: Start financial education early, teach financial responsibility at home, and provide guidance during their college years.
Essentials & downloads: The financial basics, a budget for college spending, track your cash flow and establish a budget.
7. Navigating a divorce
Tips: Create financial distance, protect yourself and your family, and take charge of your financial future.
Essentials & downloads: Track your cash flow and establish a budget, review and update your beneficiaries, plan for a secure retirement, organize your important paperwork.
8. Planning for retirement
Tips: Put your vision on paper, understand and plan for challenges, and develop a retirement income strategy.
Essentials & downloads: Make a retirement plan, how will you spend each day in retirement, plan for a secure retirement, will your assets last long enough.
9. Caring for aging parents
Tips: Keep the conversation warm and productive, plan ahead, and funding future financial needs.
Essentials & downloads: Conduct a safety walk-through of your parents’ home regularly, common healthcare options, legal considerations, organize your important paperwork, review and update your beneficiaries.
10. Coping with loss
Tips: Gather important paperwork, begin the task of settling the estate, and take time when it comes to an inheritance.
Essentials & downloads: Important documents to gather after the death of a loved one, other important tasks to complete, make settling an estate easier, organize important paperwork.
Your clients need—and want—a trusted, caring relationship when it comes to managing their financial lives. And while no website will ever replace your own personal touch, the new Life Events Planner can help you offer valuable information to help your clients understand each transition. Take your own walk-through of our Life Events Planner to see what’s there, and then please feel free to share it with your clients. It’s just one more way New York Life & MainStay Investments is working to help every advisor build strong, more personal relationships with every client.
The information and opinions herein are for general information use only. The opinions reflect those of the writers but not necessarily those of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM). NYLIM does not guarantee their accuracy or completeness, nor does New York Life Investment Management LLC assume any liability for any loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. Such information and opinions are subject to change without notice and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or as personalized investment advice.
All investments are subject to market risk, including possible loss of principal. Diversification cannot assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market.
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