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Longevity planning extends beyond traditional financial management, incorporating new discussions, services, solutions, and partnerships to enhance the bond between clients and financial professionals.
 
Dr. Joseph CoughlinPhD Director of the MIT AgeLab
 

Perspectives on aging have changed. Clients 50+ often don’t feel like they’re getting older. Despite this mindset, age-related issues can unexpectedly impact finances and lifestyles. 

Clients often overlook the possibility of health trials or view them as distant problems. This worksheet delves into five key areas of longevity planning to help gauge clients’ preparedness for the twists and turns of aging.

As you discuss these questions with clients, you may discover challenges that you alone aren’t able to address. By working together with longevity-related professionals, you can complement your expertise and meet your clients’ changing needs.

By anticipating age-related challenges, you can distinguish yourself from competitors who are only focused on financial aspects of retirement planning. Moreover, you become a valuable guide, garnering more referrals.

Initiating the Conversation: “Having witnessed many clients’ transitions to retirement, I’ve learned about the unforeseen challenges. I’ve compiled questions to help prepare for these issues. Would you like to explore a couple?”

Longevity planning extends beyond traditional financial management, incorporating new discussions, services, solutions, and partnerships to enhance the bond between clients and financial professionals.
 
Dr. Joseph CoughlinPhD Director of the MIT AgeLab
 

House icon Housing
  1. In our ongoing financial discussions, considering lifestyle changes is crucial. Have you contemplated where you’d like to live as you age? Whether you’d prefer to stay put or explore new possibilities? Understanding your preferences can help tailor our financial strategy.

    Many aim to stay in their homes, but as age progresses, maintaining a home can become challenging, or even perilous.

    Providers: Handyman, lawn-care service, aging life care manager (previously known as a geriatric care manager), occupational therapist

  2. As part of our comprehensive financial strategy, let’s discuss the practical aspects of your living arrangements. Have you considered whether your current home is suitable for aging in place?

    Despite our homes being a place of familiarity and comfort, it can pose hazards, especially for older adults. Identifying and addressing these risks is key to ensuring clients’ safety.

    Providers: CAPS (certified aging-in-place specialist), aging life care manager, occupational therapist

  3. In our ongoing discussions about your financial well-being, it’s essential to consider potential changes in living arrangements. If aging in your current home becomes challenging, have you considered what type of living situation would be ideal for you?

    The need to move often arises due to health challenges or when daily tasks become too demanding. Clients may not know where to begin when making this crucial decision.

    Providers: Directors of retirement communities, CCRCs (continuing-care retirement communities), assisted-living communities, aging life care managers

car icon Transportation
  1. As part of our ongoing discussions about your financial and personal security, I wanted to bring up the topic of safety features for aging drivers. Are you familiar with the latest advancements?

    Driving is vital to maintaining independence. Cars that offer comfort and advanced technologies can make driving easier and reduce the risk of accidents.

    Providers: Car dealers with in-depth knowledge of safety features, occupational therapists, or a certified driver-rehabilitation specialist

  2. Considering the practical aspects of your lifestyle, have you established a relationship with a trusted car dealer and mechanic?

    Transportation is a significant retirement expense. A dependable dealer and mechanic can assist clients with choosing and maintaining their cars.

    Providers: A local mechanic, new and used car dealers/companies

  3. If, for any reason, you needed to stop driving, have you thought about alternative transportation options?

    Ceasing driving can lead to isolation and depression. Help clients find ways to access not just things they need but enjoy.

    Providers: Uber, Lift, Instacart, taxis, public transportation

healthcare icon Healthcare
  1. Considering the importance of healthcare planning in your financial strategy, have you recently assessed whether your Medicare plan is the best fit for your current situation?

    Whether they’re enrolling or renewing, connect clients with a specialist who can help them sort through the dizzying array of Medicare choices.

    Providers: A licensed Medicare broker, SHIPs (State Health Insurance Assistance Programs), aging life care manager

  2. In our comprehensive approach to financial planning, it’s crucial to consider healthcare arrangements. Have you established a healthcare proxy to ensure your medical decisions align with your wishes?

    Without a healthcare proxy, family members may have to make difficult decisions on your behalf or face legal challenges. An elder-law attorney can streamline this process.

    Provider: Elder-law attorney

  3. While we navigate your financial goals, let’s also consider the human aspect of caregiving. If there were ever a need for support, have you identified who might step into a caregiving role?

    Caregiving arrangements are often made after a need for care arises, or in a crisis. Preparing carefully in advance can help avoid hasty decisions and unnecessary stress, leading to better care.

    Provider: Aging life care manager

estate icon Estate Planning
  1. As we address your overall financial planning, it’s crucial to consider estate matters. Have you taken steps to establish a will or trust to ensure your assets are managed according to your wishes?

    67% of Americans don’t have a will.1 Without a will, a client’s estate will be settled based on the laws of their state, which could result in decisions contrary to their wishes.

    Provider: Elder-law attorney, estate attorney

  2. Considering the broader aspects of your financial plan, have you thought about designating a durable power of attorney? This allows someone you trust to manage financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to.

    Without a durable power of attorney, if a client becomes unable to manage their affairs, a court will assign a guardian to oversee their finances. The process can be time-consuming, and expensive, and may not align with a client’s wishes.

    Provider: Elder-law attorney, estate attorney

  3. As part of our holistic approach to financial planning, I’d like to discuss a sensitive but important topic. Have you thought about prearranging your funeral plans? It’s a proactive measure that ensures your wishes are documented and can be seamlessly addressed when needed.

    Funerals are costly. Pre-planning can reduce financial strain and decision-making when loved ones are grieving.

    Provider: Funeral director

Website icon Well-being
  1. In our ongoing discussions, I’m curious about the activities that bring you joy and purpose. Do you have regular hobbies or routines that enhance your well-being? Understanding these aspects helps us shape a financial plan that not only meets your monetary goals but also supports your overall satisfaction in life.

    A lack of purpose can lead to feelings of boredom, loneliness, and a general sense of dissatisfaction. Clients who find meaning in their lives fare best in retirement.

    Providers: Volunteermatch.org, life coach, Meetup, Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

  2. Meaningful connections are especially important as we navigate different stages of life. How would you describe the strength of your social circle or friendships? Do you have a supportive network that you find enriching?

    Clients who don’t actively engage with others are at risk of social isolation, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. If a client could benefit from more social connections, share some resources that could help.

    Providers: Volunteermatch.org, life coach, Meetup, faith-based community

  3. Given our focus on your long-term well-being, I’m interested in whether you’ve taken steps to maintain cognitive health. Are there specific activities or habits you’ve adopted for this purpose?

    We all want to avoid cognitive decline because it can lead to a loss of independence along with heavy financial costs. There’s strong evidence that simple lifestyle interventions can dramatically improve brain health and lower the risk of disease now and in years to come.

    Resource: Our “Retain Your Brain” content offers simple lifestyle tips to support cognitive health in key areas such as sleep, diet, exercise, stress management, continuous learning, and social connection. These insights are drawn from the expertise of Marc Milstein, a neuroscience researcher. Consider consulting additional professionals like nutritionists or fitness instructors to further enhance brain health.

By using these questions, you’ll help clients anticipate hidden longevity challenges and connect them with valuable resources. Clients will see you as a financial professional who understands them, one they’ll recommend to friends and can’t do without.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author, who is not affiliated with Hartford Funds. 

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