People are living longer, each generation is becoming more educated, family dynamics are changing, and technology is infiltrating every part of our lives. For a financial advisor, these trends may mean that your clients’ needs and their expectations of your role are expanding.
We recently hosted Dr. Joe Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab to discuss how advisors can transition into what the MIT Age Lab has coined a “longevity-based advisor.” A longevity-based advisor guides clients with education, resources, and solutions to the challenges that longer lifespans and this new retirement can present.
1. EducationYour clients are well aware of the fast-paced, changing world we live in, but they may not always be informed on how these changes impact them. Sharing your own personal insights and experiences can help clients understand that you empathize with what they are up against, and that you are in a position to help them. You can also help them understand where they fit in this new world by sharing information about how to keep their skills up to date, or help them better understand their options in the new sharing or “gig” economy.
2. ResourcesOne of the major challenges older people come across is how to safely and independently age in their own home. They may think they are perfectly capable, but then find themselves at a loss when repairs need to be made. Connect these clients with a network of service providers, such as landscapers, maintenance people, and contractors who specialize in home modifications for those with limited mobility, who can allow them to age in place. If a client is adamant about wanting to age in place, you could discuss with them how to enhance and transform their home for optimal living.
3. SolutionsWhile adults age 65+ are becoming more comfortable with technology, they may not realize all of the health and wellness benefits it can offer. Show your clients how to use certain health- and wellness-related apps that can allow them (and their families) to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying their retirement. App solutions include health monitoring, transportation services, and grocery-delivery services. Show your clients how easily these on-demand resources work, and how they could aid in their independence as they age.
Retirement is not what it used to be. As clients live longer, they are often unprepared for the challenges that they could face, resulting in a decline in retirement satisfaction. By incorporating the longevity advisor model into your practice, you can help prepare your clients for an enjoyable retirement. Provide a space where clients feel comfortable to discuss what is really on their minds, and tailor the guidance you offer up accordingly. With your suggestions regarding housing, transportation, health, and social connections, the financial advisor can be the confidante senior citizens need to navigate this new landscape.
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