“If you give up when it’s winter, you will no doubt miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer and the fulfillment of your autumn.”
-Author Unknown

Some might compare the years in our lives to the seasons in a calendar year. Financial advisors can help their clients build financial plans based on these important years of their lives.

During the first phase, the spring of life (0-20 years), individuals are graduating college and growing into the people and professionals they are to become. At this phase of life, they have the longest amount of time available to invest in the market, and therefore should reap the rewards of compounding interest. Financial advisors should encourage these individuals to establish a financial plan for the future and invest aggressively.

Starting your savings early
The summer of life (20-40 years) is when clients begin to recognize the value of stability. During these years, most clients have established a career and perhaps gotten married and had children. This phase of life is also known at the “accumulation” phase, and financial advisors should continue to counsel clients to invest aggressively in the market. While they may be raising kids and busy with a career, these individuals still have many years for their investments to grow.

During the autumn of life (40-60 years), most clients are entering the final stage of their professional career and sending their children off to college. Financial advisors should encourage these clients to change their aggressive financial plans to more of a moderate growth plan.

Preparing for the winter of life
The final phase, the winter of life (60-80+ years), marks the beginning of retirement, where most baby boomers will spend 20 to 30 years of their lives. Clients have now transitioned into the orderly “distribution” phase of life and should look at their investments with a different perspective. During this stage, premature death, long term care and disability could all affect a client’s financial plan, which is why the protection that lifeboats offer is so important. Financial advisors should encourage these clients to keep the next five to 10 years of needed money in a safe and conservative vehicle.

Advisors should use the information about the phases of life to offer a customized approach to financial and retirement planning with their clients. Help your clients enjoy the four seasons of their life, starting today.