Some advisors don’t have any clients over age 75 and some of you have a book full of them. No matter what you have now, it is certain that if you intend to keep clients long term, you’ll have elderly among them. Here is an important way to add value to what you do for them: meet with them and their intended heirs to discuss finances and aging issues.

Initiating family meetings about investments is not something most people are doing all by themselves. They need a nudge and you are the right person to give that nudge. What’s the big deal? Don’t underestimate the importance of family communication about their assets. Lack of trust and communication between generations causes 70% of wealth transfers to fail.

What that means is that the family wealth is lost when it gets into the hands of the first generation of heirs to follow the matriarch and patriarch. They aren’t ready for and don’t handle it well. You may be helping your client to build and maintain wealth but the client is not preparing his heirs to receive it. You can certainly help by offering to conduct meetings and explaining the strategy of wealth building and maintaining assets that you do.

There is more to the discussion in a family meeting than investments and the passing on of assets. There is the sometimes long, drawn-out period of an elder in failing health. Does the spouse know what to do and how much things will cost in providing long-term care to a loved one? Do the adult children know? It can get quite complicated if your client, like most people chooses to age in place at home rather than go to a facility to get needed care. Hiring, managing and supervising home care workers is no small task for anyone. You can offer factual information.

When dementia is an issue, you could be looking at a client living with it for 20 years. Each year that passes with this fatal brain disease is a year of greater dependency on others to get by. The possibility of long-term care needs discussion among family members. Starting the conversation may not be within your comfort zone but the skills of how to talk about these emotional subjects can be learned.

Most advisors proclaim that they want to add value to their services and they need to show how they are better than the competition. Have you considered that you can promote your ability and willingness to protect your client’s financial safety for life as a selling point? You go way past the “successful retirement planning” line to the things that worry people about aging. You educate, collaborate, and coordinate discussions with their families and help them overcome the resistance to delving into aging issues no one likes to talk about. It is a part of your potential services you should not overlook nor avoid.

To learn some practical tips on how to conduct successful family meetings, check out our anytime on-demand online course here. It’s CFP accredited, one hour, and very affordable. Join us today!

 

Dr. Mikol Davis and Carolyn Rosenblatt, co-founders of AgingInvestor.com

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder Law Attorney offers a wealth of experience with aging to help you create tools so you can skillfully manage your aging clients. You will understand your rights and theirs so you can stay safe and keep them safe too. Dr. Mikol Davis, Psychologist, Gerontologist offers in depth of knowledge about diminished financial capacity in older adults to help you strategize best practices so you can protect your vulnerable aging clients. They are the authors of "Succeed With Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide To Best Practice," and "Hidden Truths About Retirement And Long Term Care," available at AgingInvestor.com offers accredited cutting edge on-line continuing education courses for financial professionals wanting to expand their expertise in best practices for their aging clients. To learn more about our courses click HERE
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