Advisors have a hard time breaking through boomers’ resistance to plan ahead
By Linda Koco
When presenting products or discussing planning needs and goals with baby boomers, many advisors say they run smack into the “not in my backyard” mindset of many boomers.
National Underwriter has run countless articles about this phenomenon in the past few years.
It seems that many boomers, especially older boomers now in their 50s, present themselves as charming, confident and mostly carefree, where their financial future is concerned.
Sure, they may be struggling to pay the mortgage and the kids’ college tuition. But they still have this self-sufficient air about them. As in: “Insurance? Who needs it, other than car, the house and health insurance? I’m all set.”
Some advisors do try, often repeatedly, to nudge boomers to get off the dime and assess what might happen if things take a turn for the worse in the future. But frequently that nudge is not enough to cause the boomer to budge. If blessed with health and perhaps even some wealth, they act as if they are charmed–i.e., that serious illness, disaster and misfortune will just keep passing them by, as always.
Of course, seasoned advisors know that is nonsense. They know, “it hasn’t happened to you–yet.”
But how does the advisor get through? That is, how to bring boomers to understand–factually and without scare tactics–that the day may really come when they will: 1) need to start living on the assets built up (hopefully) over several decades; 2) suffer some debilitating injury or illness; 3) see opportunities for continued employment dwindle; 4) witness erosion in employer-provided retiree benefits; and/or 5) lose reliance on the ability of government and public benefits programs to impact financial stability significantly.
Beyond that, how does the advisor bring that understanding around to the other important point: that certain private-sector insurance and financial service solutions, though seemingly irrelevant in view of the boomers’ near-perfect lives, should be evaluated now, while life is still good.