Everyone in our industry knows that 10,000 Americans per day will continue turning 65 up until the year 2030. For the people who have money saved in, say, a 401(k), which is the most common retirement vehicle, they are facing stock market volatility which can have a devastating effect on their ETFs or mutual funds, along with rising interest rates which can devalue their bonds, not to mention rates still hovering at around 2% on CDs, savings accounts and money markets. Then there are RMDs that kick in at age 70, triggering taxation for many when they least expect it.
Retirees and pre-retirees absolutely need your help with retirement planning, and creating reliable retirement income which will last. Not only that, but by helping them navigate complex programs like Social Security and Medicare, you will be a trusted—and referred—financial advisor who understands the issues facing your clients during this phase of their lives.
Many of your retirement clients have children and grandchildren—beloved family members who may be planning future nuptials. Often your clients want to help them out with wedding expenses (if not pay for everything!)
With the average cost of a wedding at more than $35,000, you have a perfect opportunity to help your clients budget for their joyous family event—as well as start a dialogue with your clients’ children and grandchildren. There may be no better way for you to become the entire family’s trusted advisor as they celebrate together while looking to your acumen to make sure they have the financial means to pay for the type of event they desire.
Be sure to offer to meet with the happy couple to get them off to a strong financial start, too. You can help the newlyweds create financial goals, set up a budget, plan to get out of debt, purchase a home, invest for the future and protect each other with the right types of insurance. Use this opportunity to become invaluable to all the generations.
- Birth of a Child
Is there anything more exciting than the birth of a new family member? Once again, you can help your clients by planning ahead for the costs of their new bundles of joy.
Keep in mind that grandparents are getting more involved in this. According to research done by Age Wave and Merrill Lynch, 62% of people over 50 years old are providing support to a family member, and 60% say it’s better to give money during their lifetime rather than waiting until end of life.
The money required for children is staggering. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average cost of a raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610. After that, there are college expenses to consider. The average cost of a bachelor’s degree ranges from $52,000-$130,000, depending on in-state vs. out-of-state, public vs. private university and whether or not housing and food are included.
- Death of a Spouse
The “what-if” conversation about the potential loss of a loved one is very difficult to have, but important in your role as a financial advisor. Identifying the potential risk of lost income is critical at every stage of life, for both spouses. It’s important to walk clients through all the hypothetical scenarios which could happen, and offer a plan for financial protection.
As much as possible, make sure both spouses are involved in financial decisions, and that each understands what they have in terms of financial investments. Strive for balance in your communications, even if one spouse tries to become the sole source of contact.
If divorce does become inevitable, keep in mind that too many people, even the wealthy, think their divorce attorney understands how to get the best settlement for them. Often, these attorneys don’t understand the actual underlying financial impact of assets awarded. This is where your expertise becomes critical. But keep in mind that each party in the divorce should have their own separate financial advisor at that point.
What could be the downside to an inherited pile of money? Well, for one thing, 90-95% of children who inherit immediately fire their parents’ financial advisors, according to Fidelity and the Institute for Preparing Heirs. And many heirs squander their money on new cars, clothes, homes and vacations instead of paying off debts and investing to ensure their wealth lasts.
As an advisor, what can you do? See number one and three above. The vast majority of advisors have never even met their clients’ children. This is critical because by 2050, the largest wealth transfer in history will have taken place, with more than $40 trillion being handed down to the next generation.
- Medical Catastrophe
For clients both young and old, medical issues can be devastating. For instance, even if a younger client has group health insurance through their job, if a medical condition becomes disabling they can lose their position and therefore their health coverage. Losing access to necessary medical treatments is calamitous enough, but the depletion of the family finances can make things even worse.
For retirees, the cost of health care has skyrocketed, the average couple over 65 years old will need $275,000 throughout their retirement to cover Medicare premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses—and costs are expected to increase along with life expectancy. Additionally, there’s a high chance that at some point one spouse will need long-term care in a nursing facility, especially in cases of Alzheimer’s or dementia. If there is not a plan in place for this, the family could be forced to try to qualify for Medicaid, mandating a spend-down of assets, and effectively bankrupting the surviving spouse—while leaving nothing for heirs.
Your plan is a critical part of protecting your clients from the financial risk of catastrophic illness.
Call Shurwest at 800-355-0581 to talk about strategies and compare coverage options that could benefit your clients based on their unique parameters.