We all need checkups. As a financial professional, you have meetings with clients that are little different from the preventive visits they have with doctors. They have chosen you to help them navigate what can be rough seas and develop a trusting relationship that will last for many years to come.
Sometimes financial professionals miss the mark and neglect three fronts that would serve their clients better, strengthen their relationships and grow their bottom line.
If you’ve been involved with long-term care (LTC) planning for years, you know the drill. If you’re just starting out in this area, how diligent have you been about giving your clients these three screenings?
1. Assessing their state of health and long-term care cost literacy.
Your clients need to learn the facts about health costs ahead of time, so that you can work together to help formulate the right plan for their needs. Here’s a staggering statistic to break the ice: A 65-year-old couple retiring this year needs an average of $220,000 to pay for medical costs throughout their retirement (Fidelity).
That figure doesn’t even include long-term care costs which continue to grow. Add that to the fact that two-thirds of working households age 55-64 with at least one earner have retirement savings less than one times their annual income, which is far below what they will need to maintain their standard of living in retirement (National Institute on Retirement Security). You can see that now is the time to start this discussion candidly with your clients.
See also: LTC: The financial impact
Is long-term care insurance right for everyone? Not necessarily, but the conversation is imperative and if your clients don’t receive it from you, they will find it elsewhere. Time and again, I see financial professionals lose out when their clients buy long-term care insurance on their own because the subject was never broached with their financial professional.
Get to know the cost of care in your own community which varies substantially from region to region (the annual Genworth Cost of Care survey by state is a good starting point). Above all, don’t delay… there is too much at stake for you and them.
2. Verifying whether your clients who are women, or are related to women, understand how women fit into the planning equation.
You owe it to all your clients to develop well-rounded strategies… that’s why they choose you rather than the next financial professional. Yet, I see half of all clients are often left out of financial discussions and decisions right in their financial professional’s office! More than half of women (51 percent) seek advice and/or prefer to rely on outside experts to manage and monitor their retirement savings (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies).