In a previous post, I explained how technology is changing how we age, and I encouraged advisors to use new technologies to catch and keep their clients’ attention. So far, I shared how online courses and room-sharing services can help retirees earn extra income while also helping them to fill in some idle time, and I brought up how new innovations are making it easier for the elderly to age in place in a manner that keeps them safe and healthy.
To follow-up on that post, I’d like to address three more areas of life that may be impacted by new technology. These three areas are critical to retirement planning, as they can make or break retirees’ quality of life as they age.
1. Aging in Place
Imagine having to move out of your home because you can no longer maintain it on your own. That’s a reality for many retirees, who find themselves having to make a significant and oftentimes unwanted move in retirement. Technology is increasingly developing an on-demand economy, where services are available through an app or website. For example, Instacart will deliver groceries to your door, while companies such as Blue Apron will send ingredients and recipes, making trips to the grocery store obsolete. TaskRabbit helps find service providers for home maintenance needs, and other technologies, such as the Roomba, make cleaning and keeping up the home less strenuous. Consider sending your clients a free week of Blue Apron meals for the next holiday instead of your standard fruit basket—help them experience a new way to maintain their independence.
As we age, we may find it harder to get around on our own, for one reason or another, and losing the independence that driving affords can have negative repercussions on a person’s mental and emotional health. Now, retirees who no longer drive have more options—cars today can include such features as parking assistance and collision prevention, and the completely self-driving car may not be too far off. Another option is to rely on a driving service app, such as Uber or Lyft. Maybe the next time you take a client out to lunch, hail an Uber and show your client just how easy and convenient it can be.
One of the scarier sides of retirement might be the loss of regular, daily human interaction that comes along with going into an office every day. Loneliness is no match for technology, though—with Skype and Facetime, it is easier to communicate more personally with family and friends from afar, while companies such as Connected Living are developing technologies to help people connect and engage with family, friends, and their community. Next time a retired client wants to have a phone call, suggest using a video call service instead so you can show them how easy it is to connect face-to-face without having to travel.
Typically, we encourage advisors to ask their clients three questions to help them plan for a satisfying retirement: “Who will change your lightbulbs;” “How will you get an ice cream cone;” and “Who will you have lunch with?” At first glance, it might seem that these questions don’t have much to do with retirement, but the answers to those questions actually can shed light on how prepared your clients are to live well in retirement. Now, there are technological advances that can help retirees age in place, stay mobile, and maintain a social network. Take clients through the three questions and introduce them to the innovations that can address concerns related to these questions, and you may find yourself engaged in an in-depth, productive, and engaging conversation.
The information in this presentation is provided for informational purposes only. Hartford mutual funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no endorse of any products or service is being made. Hartford Funds is not associated with the entities referenced in this presentation.