It’s not enough anymore for financial advisors just to give guidance on financial planning and fund-picking. With the proliferation of robo-advisors and financial advising apps, it’s become critically important that financial advisors offer their clients more than the expected.
A longevity solutions advisor is a financial advisor who, in addition to providing financial guidance, helps clients navigate the complexities of aging and longer retirements. They don’t just talk about products with clients, but rather they have deeper discussions about the realities that come along with older age—such as healthcare costs, aging in place, maintaining quality of life—and help them come up with a plan. There are a few key elements to becoming a longevity solutions advisor:
1. Engage clients in more personal conversations.
Talk to clients about their family, their background, their upbringing, and the stressors in their life. Pursue (respectfully) conversations centered on health and well-being, such as their preferred workout routine, whether their parents are still living, how they cope with stress, if they’ve ever, or are currently, acting as a caregiver for a relative, and so on. These kinds of conversations can be instrumental in gaining insight into specific issues your clients may face, such as a chronic illness or family situation, that could have implications on the costs of healthcare as they age. The more in-depth your discussions, the deeper your relationship becomes and the more tailored information you can offer.
2. Act as the connector between clients and service providers.
When you have more personal conversations with clients, you will likely uncover specific, unmet needs, and a longevity solutions advisor should offer help in getting those needs met. For example, if you have a client who is thinking about downsizing, you could suggest the name of a realtor. If you have a client who is handling a deceased parent’s will, recommend an estate lawyer. If you have a client who needs help around the house, introduce them to the economy-sharing technologies that exist. Listen, and then liaise.
3. Adjust your approach according to clients’ life stages.
The key to being a longevity solutions advisor is to engage with clients over a lifetime, on more topics and more often. It’s important to factor in where they are in their life, to better meet their changing needs, and to loop in loved ones where appropriate, to establish relationships with their family members as well. Pay attention to the different life stages your clients reach, and ride out those stages with them. If you have a client that is nearing retirement, for example, your focus may shift to help them get ready mentally as well as financially. If you have a client who is already retired but whose spouse has just passed away, be proactive about helping them navigate their new normal. Be there for your clients—and their family members—throughout all of the milestones, and offer them solutions to what consequences those milestones may bring.
Be a longevity solutions advisor—help your clients with their financial planning, give them a map of what aging might look like, and help them figure out the details that come along with the territory.