Needed: Advisors Who Focus On The Whole Senior
While the timing may be debated, the fact that both Social Security and Medicare face a funding crisis is undeniable.
Although it is politically unpopular to change a legacy entitlement program, something must be done. But the mammoth trial balloon the federal government is floatingprivatization of Social Securitycannot replicate the benefits of the program now in place.
Worse, consumers face daunting issues because of lawmakers inability to fess up to boomer demands and needs. At many companies, sales of long term care products have declined notably over the past two years, but the need for supplemental coverage remains monumental.
Thats especially true if eligibility requirements for Social Security and Medicare changeas they will have toin the years ahead. Although most boomers recognize the term long term care, most are unfamiliar with the products features and benefits. And they often perceive the need for LTC to kick in only when they are of Social Security age.
Compounding this dilemma is the total lack of consumer understanding, and industry support, for one of the best product groups available to those who can afford it: disability insurance.
When you look at all three issuesthe need for Social Security reform, lack of customer understanding about long term care and the profound need for disability insurancethe industry has incredible opportunities to educate consumers. Advisors can use client meetings, presentations at chambers of commerce, media interviews, etc., to elevate awareness about the genuine good that insurance and financial products can generate for wealth management and asset protection.
But before we can educate others effectively, we must educate ourselves. We need to better understand the changes that our legislators propose and make sure our aging clients understand the impact these changes will have on their savings and investments. To communicate effectively with the senior market, we must understand the unique retirement distribution and estate planning challenges confronting mature Americans.
The aging baby boomer population represents a huge market for professional financial advisors. Seventy-seven million of them will start retiring in five years time. One-half of the boomers will retire over a five-year period, starting in 2009.