In a recent Gen-Savvy Financial Advisor workshop, I explained the seven-part process for working through baby boomer parents to get introductions to their adult children. The process takes clients down Memory Lane to recall how they felt about their finances when they were their children’s age. This works very well in my experience, and one of the attendees said this is the process his firm has used successfully for years.
With that ego-inflating, unsolicited testimonial fresh in my mind, I offer the step-by-step model below. This model assumes the clients are a husband and wife:
Step 1: Begin a “remember when” conversation with your clients. Take them back to your earliest interactions with them and ask how they felt at that time about their finances and retirement prospects.
Step 2: Mix questions that evoke both facts and feelings. For example: What was your financial situation then? — Fact. How did you feel about it? — Feeling. What were your hopes then? — Feeling. At that time, were they achievable? — Fact. This helps people relive these memories, not simply recall them.
Step 3: Again using questions that evoke facts and feelings, ask about their children’s financial future: What do you think of it? How do you feel they’ll do? Do you consider your children financially literate? Do you think they have a disciplined approach to saving money?
Step 4: Ask them to imagine how nice it’d be if their children didn’t have to go through the same financial worries and uncertainties they endured when they were younger. Tell them you’d like to help their offspring start off correctly with sound financial decisions and that, beyond any sort of inheritance, the best thing they can learn is how to think about money. Note that those worries and fears can be avoided and, with the parents’ blessing, you’d like to offer your help. List the free services you offer select clients’ children.