The first of the baby boomers turned 70 this year, with another 1.5 million reaching that milestone each year for the next 15 years.
By concentrating on this growing market early, advisors can provide financial planning services for decades longer than previous generations.
A new white paper by BNY Mellon’s Pershing, “Serving the Needs of Senior Clients,” has several tips on how advisors can better serve this dempgraphic.
“Creating a practice focusing on the unique needs of this growing group can be a differentiator and business driver,” Janet Kelly, head of practice management at Pershing, said in a statement. “Further, working with senior clients can be truly rewarding as advisors become a trusted resource for these investors, as well as their families, and play an active role in their legacy planning.”
Here are five suggestions from the report:
1. Understand “The New Old”
As Pershing says, those considered seniors are not who they used to be.
“Today’s seniors do not reflect the stereotypes of rocking chairs and compression socks. Instead, they approach retirement as a new beginning or next chapter,” the report states. “Many are launching new careers or taking up and learning new hobbies. Many push back against the natural aging process with regular exercise and healthy nutrition.”
According to a Pew Research survey, the typical baby boomer believes that old age does not begin until age 72 and typically feels 9 years younger than his or her chronological age.
“Advisors who are sensitive to these changes as well as how their senior clients perceive themselves and aging have an advantage with communication, meetings and planning strategies,” the report suggests.
According to Pershing, Advisors need to understand and differentiate between the needs and health concerns of young seniors (60 to 75 years old), mid-seniors (75 to 85 years old), and old seniors (86 and older) to help guide the conversations based on each group’s unique needs.
2. Start the Conversation Early
According to the report, advisors should start planning for advanced age in the mid-50s to early 60s to ensure that proper documentation is completed while the client can make reasoned and thoughtful decisions.
The ideal time to help clients think through their needs and aspirations for advanced years is when they have full mental capacity, the report says.
“An advisor best practice for clients in this category is a formal, repeatable process that incorporates this planning discussion into the service model for advisors’ pre-retirement age clients,” the report states. “This will help to ensure their objectives are documented and trusted contact name(s) are included.”