As a financial advisor, you have done a good job of helping your pre-retired clients dream, define their ideal goals and manage a portfolio to achieve those goals. But that may or may not have anything to do with their reality. Why?? Because so much of retirement requires managing the mental, social and physical aspects and each of your clients is a unique individual.
Helping your clients plan for retirement requires you to use a whole brain approach to financial planning.? Consider these facts recently released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute: 57% of U.S. workers surveyed reported less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments excluding their homes.? 28% of Americans have no confidence they will have enough money to retire comfortably.
Beginning with the left-brain side of the business, you are already starting with a deficit: a lack of money and confidence.? Pre-retired couples assemble their budgets and that action alone can bring on a lot of uncertainty. Like the markets, people dont like uncertainty. How does it feel to live on the withdrawal side when your clients have always lived in the accumulation phase?? What about the possibility of another Great Recession?? Are health care costs really that high?? How do I know how much to plan for home repairs?
That left-brain conversation can take a sharp turn into the right-brain hemisphere.? A client may confide in you that even though they never liked their job, at least it gives them a sense of purpose. The reality is that when people don’t feel they are doing something meaningful, they become bored and pessimistic. Failure to address things like how much time they will spend together, changes in household responsibilities if one retires before the other, or how their golden years will be affected by financial issues such as supporting an aging parent can quickly remove the luster and shine from their golden years. Couples can, and probably will, have different priorities and attitudes about retirement and that identifying those differences is critically important to their compatibility, and success in retirement.
The emotional side of retirement coupled with the numbers side can add up to stressful conversations during your meetings with pre-retired clients.
So how do you continue to create a priceless unique experience for your pre-retired clients?
By understanding where to focus the conversation depending on the type of client sitting in front of you.? If your client is primarily a goal-setter, then helping them with ideas to redirect their time, energy and talents into new ventures will help reduce the tension.? An information seeker will need more details and research on retirement ideas and will probably be more at ease with identifying and following detailed cash flow projections.? Your client who is more lifestyle oriented would do better with you telling stories about your other retired clients who have successfully made that transition. And, finally, a security seeking clients mind will be at ease when you combine both their feelings and very concrete, specific ideas about retirement.
Helping your clients prepare for retirement requires you to move from the clients outer world to their inner world with grace and ease.? Instilling confidence and a sense of certainty in these uncertain times is your number one priority.? And to do that, you need to have a heightened self -awareness to show both your logical, and emotional side.? Your payoff is loyal clients who will stay with you and provide referrals for life.
For more information on how you can determine the financial personality of your clients to guide them in all financial planning conversations, visit the Financial DNA website.