Panelists Rita Droney (left), Leslie Harvey, Linda Gibbs & Yvonne Wiseley.

To pay for the costs involved with living longer, retirees – especially women – need to work with advisors and stay invested in the markets, according to a group of clients who spoke at the 2015 Women’s Symposium hosted by Raymond James.

“Many of my friends are scared to invest,” said Rita Droney, who works with a Raymond James employee advisor in the Tampa area. “My argument is with them, and I’ve been educated thanks to information from my advisor, Kevin Caldwell. You have to be able to make money to fight inflation, and we will be around a long time. Otherwise, without being invested in the [stock] market, you will run out of money.”

Droney, who joked that she would like her advisor to stop the market’s current bear movement, explained, “I can’t get people I know to understand this. [Being in the market] is almost a necessary evil.”

To be and to stay invested, she adds, it is vital to have an advisor who is compassionate. “We had a good start to our relationship … and I feel comfortable in it,” Droney stated.

The client, who used to work in real estate, was one of four women to share their views on advisor-client relations before an audience of about 300 advisors and 200 other guests at the St. Petersburg event.

“So many people I know are too afraid to pay for advice and to invest [in the markets],” said Yvonne Wiseley, a retired insurance agent who works with advisors Jeff Hearn and Bill Hoyt in St. Petersburg, Florida. “But they try it on their own. They buy and sell stock, and then some go broke.”

High-touch approach

The four clients described their desire to get more than just generic information from their advisors and to be able to forge a personal relationship, rather than work long distance.

“After I lost my husband, I got so much help,” Wiseley explained. “I meet with them several times a year and look forward to the meetings. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”

The clients generally say they see their advisors as part of their broader support group.

“I wanted personal contact,” said Linda Gibbs, who works with advisors Rachel McNeil and Bob Hilton. “I interviewed advisors with different companies and wanted someone who would get to know me and my goals.”

Gibbs, a former school executive and currently a recruiter in the education field, says she and her advisors “know the right questions to ask each other.”

“It’s the little things, too, that build trust,” said Droney, “and not just hearing from the advisor once or twice a year. My advisor listens to what I need and does not just jump in to say do this or that.”

She explains that her advisor communicates with her one a month or so “and is not hiding in the corner” when the markets get messy. “I like working with someone who has my back,” Droney stated.

Thanks to the trust Gibbs has developed with her advisors, “I’ve come to depend on them, and they have steered me in right direction,” she said.

Lifetime relationships

In addition to working with advisors after life changes, such as the loss of a spouse or a move to partial or full retirement, the clients say they are most interested in being able to maintain their independence as they age.

“I do not want to live with my kids and do want to maintain my current lifestyle for as many years as possible,” said Leslie Harvey, a former public relations professional who works with advisor Janet Nichols in Tampa. “It’s important to get leadership on how to maintain this and can’t imagine doing it myself.”

Thanks to the fruitful nature of the relationship, Harvey says, she doesn’t shy away from recommending Nichols: “Why would I not want to share information about someone who has helped me with others?”

See also:

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