Most of the wealth of this country is concentrated with our seniors. Our responsibility is to preserve that wealth.
I had an appointment recently, which I would guess is similar to many of the appointments you are currently having. An existing client referred me to a couple. Sitting at their kitchen table, I began doing some “fact finding.” The husband was 80 years old, his wife 78. They were fully invested in the stock market. Their account, three years ago, had a value of $650,000. I did not immediately ask its current value.
First, I needed answers to some important questions. I started with the basics: had they heard from their current advisor? If so, what advice was given? If none, why not? Did they understand the current and future state of the economy? Did they think things could get worse? Did they know what other financial catastrophes might still be looming? Would the economy return to health in time for them?
This is important. Don’t assume they understand any of this. They hear contradicting information from all media sources and this creates uncertainty.
Uncertainty creates fear. Everyone is afraid, and seniors are especially scared because they are running out of time.
My questioning continued. They had Social Security and pensions. They required $1,100 per month from their investments to cover their monthly financial requirements.
After more than an hour of asking questions, I asked them how much of their investment was left. He said $380,000, and then began to cry. I immediately comforted him and explained that his income requirement could still be met at fixed interest rates. Both were relieved. Furthermore, I had earned their trust because I cared about them, not merely how much money they had.
Savings “comfort zones”
The couple will be fine. And by protecting the account for them, we protect the account for their heirs. We keep the money in the family. If we preserve and protect these accounts for our seniors, we will be providing them and our country a great benefit.
Seniors mostly grew their wealth by saving rather than investing. Why do we continue to remove them from their saving comfort zones?
The best sales are made when we take the time to ask the right questions and carefully listen to the answers. Then we can demonstrate the amazing value of our industry by providing understandable solutions that are not beyond the risk tolerance of our clients.