So far, so good. You’ve networked your way into the right circles. You are on friendly terms with the movers and shakers in town. You see them at events. They are normal people, often philanthropic, enthusiastic boosters of the local community. They aren’t minor royalty, celebrities or obnoxious people. What do they fret about?
When friends get together, they often share what’s on their mind. Although you might think world events, the current administration or upcoming elections are big topics, that’s often not the case. They are often older, or have lived through a few economic cycles. They are concerned about other things.
1. Their health. The wealthy folks you encounter are often older. Once you reach a certain age, you get into a cycle of doctor’s appointments and checkups. Sometimes they exhibit symptoms not easily explained. Their doctor runs test after test, eliminating possibilities. Sometimes, it’s not their health, but their spouse’s health that’s the issue.
You: You are sympathetic. More important, you remember details. “You were having cataract surgery last time we got together. How did it work out?”
2. Their aging parents. People are living longer. If they are wealthy or live in a major metro area, they have access to excellent health care. However, issues like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are tough on families. They want to provide the best care they can. In our area, a guy had aging parents and wanted them to get the best care possible. He built a senior living facility himself, so other people could get the same care he wanted for his parents, too.
You: “How are your folks doing? When we saw each other last month, you mentioned your dad had a bad fall.”
3. The stock market. We are onto a happier topic now. Some, but not all wealthy folks consider investing a fun activity, like a sport. They enjoy talking about how the market is doing. This often crosses over into world events, like U.S.-China trade relations. They often bring up the subject.
You: “Thanks for asking my opinion on trade relations. I try to keep up, using our firm’s research. Here’s what we say … The bigger question is, who will be the beneficiaries in the current trade climate?”
4. Their children. Some are concerned their children don’t understand the value of money or the importance of hard work. Their son might be thinking of taking early retirement at 22 because mom and dad accumulated all this money.
You: “I understand your concern. Has your son ever told you what they really like to do? Something he’s passionate about? Does he have social causes that are important to him?”