(3 Minute Read)
As a financial advisor, you have an idea of the needs of each demographic you serve. But, as you expand and grow within your industry, you may be asked to serve groups you don’t know that much about. In fact, research shows that only 44% of retirees in 2013 consulted a financial advisor, and that number has risen annually to over 50%.
Working with senior clients can be very rewarding. They have life experience, goals, and often have engaged in financial planning for their retirement, giving you an opportunity to really be of service. However, despite saving money, many seniors are not prepared for the “shocks” that occur in retirement, like unexpected home repairs or illness. Not to mention, more than 55% of retirees are underestimating their life expectancy.
For many seniors, trust is an important factor. According to the AARP Guide to Working with Senior Clients, many prospective clients have seen or heard stories of peers losing their life savings to investment fraud. In fact, seniors have high rates of anxiety regarding using financial planning services. You can ease this stress by being clear and up front about any conflicts of interest. Also, simply taking the time to hear and address any of their concerns during their first consultation can help ease these initial anxieties and begin building a foundation of trust.
- Experience and Credentials
The designations for senior financial advising have been recently coming under more and more scrutiny so it’s important to make sure your credentials speak clearly. Knowing and communicating the difference in regulations for these designations can help you set yourself apart. For example, you may already know the Certified Retirement Financial Advisor and Certified Senior Adviser designations require just a few days of classwork. If you didn’t, and you think you’ll be working with more seniors, consider looking into earning those titles. As for Certified Financial Planners, they still have to complete 15 hours of coursework before sitting for an infamous 10-hour board exam.
The AARP recommends beginning your exchanges with potential senior clients by recognizing their hesitation and asking probing, thoughtful questions about their finances. Seniors will also appreciate frank discussion of the tradeoffs they might have to make to reach their financial goals. Approach working with senior clients by asking them how they prefer communication. You’re likely to find many senior clients will prefer face to face communication, and providing this is a great way to continue building trust with your senior clients. Lastly, be up front with senior clients about the statistical realities they are likely to face. Although seniors are engaged with retirement planning, you can help them see all areas that might need bolstering in order to better prepare for the road ahead.
Working with senior clients allows advisors to be of service to a demographic that’s worked hard for the money you can help grow. For example, many seniors don’t know they don’t have to let their life insurance policies lapse, or that they can sell the policy for much more than the cash surrender value. These are called life settlements, and learning more about them and the ways your senior clients might qualify means you can offer options to help your clients prepare for retirement in ways they might never have considered. Stay on the cutting edge of financial planning for senior clients, and contact Life Settlement Advisors today.
Tom sold his business last year and retired due to mounting health issues. The corporate owned term life insurance policy was no longer needed and Tom planned to let the policy lapse. Tom’s financial advisor suggested he sell his policy, also known as a life settlement. Tom’s decision to sell his policy netted him $185,000.