Client-Facing Tools for Longevity Lifestyle Preparation
What if there were a fun and different way to help clients focus on the future? To help them see what it takes to live well up to—and through— retirement?
Strategies to help clients invest in the future and meet their goals can sometimes take on a negative flavor. In helping to provide a solid plan, often the discussion dwells on more painful considerations such as disability, chronic illness and death—while overlooking more positive possibilities for a long life.
Plan for Life, Not Just Retirement
No matter how old a client is today, retirement is still a blank canvas. Choices made 20 years before retirement influence the lifestyle a client enjoys in a retirement that can last 20 years or more.
When clients paint a picture of life 20 years from now, they might “paint” a cottage by the beach, the feeling of a life well lived, having security for necessities, not being a burden, or enjoying grandchildren—to name a few scenarios.
An advisor with the right tools can help his or her clients prepare for income uncertainty, market uncertainty, rising costs and taxes, while also helping them plan for how to achieve their dreams on the road ahead, including the retirement lifestyle they imagine.
A Clearer Vision of Clients’ Goals
Thinking about the future in broad terms is a great way to segue to serious planning for retirement. A well-planned strategy that does more than build and protect a client’s nest egg can pay off.
A solid plan not only helps clients prepare for added years, but also helps them work toward years where they are physically and mentally fit, functionally independent and financially secure. The right tools can help them shift from the traditional vision of “old age” to one of a long, vital life.
Mobility, Mind and Money Support Vitality
Today’s clients—including baby boomers—are looking for a plan to live life longer, with more vitality. A solid plan for living well should include considerations for mobility, mind and money:
- Mobility enhances longevity. Discuss how to manage both planned and unplanned medical expenses in retirement. Show your clients how to track their mobility through the use of an app or a wearable, for instance, because walking and running have both been proven to reduce mortality risk and improve quality of life.
- Diverse activities build mental fitness. Engage clients and find out more about their relationships with religious organizations, community groups, friends and family, as well as any plans for continued work and volunteering. Living well may include fostering a rich social life, and a solid plan budgets for social events.
- Money needs to factor in both fixed and variable expenses, and this includes saving for an envisioned lifestyle. By helping clients paint a picture of life 20 years from now, advisors can help them understand and plan for the three stages of retirement:
- Early retirement—hobbies, travel and grandkids (e.g., helping with their education)
- Middle retirement—hobbies, medical expenses and mobility accommodations (e.g., wheelchair ramps)
- Late retirement—family changes, medical expenses and long-term care costs
Transition to “Longevity Advisor”
With thousands of baby boomers retiring every day, more agents and brokers are in the midst of a transition from financial advisors to “longevity advisors.” Longer lives and longevity risks are a major challenge for advisors as clients grow older and exceed the life spans expected of them in actuarial tables.
As medical sciences and technologies advance, individuals around the world are benefitting from a lifespan that exceeds expectations. The challenge for financial planners, advisors, actuaries, retirement experts and investment management professionals is how to consider the implications of a longer lifespan to ensure that people have the financial means to maintain a quality lifestyle, even in their most senior years.
Financial professionals who understand the importance of factoring in longevity when helping clients plan their financial future can think beyond the traditional financial nuts and bolts of longevity. They can help clients see that retirement is just the beginning—it’s their time to live well. Longevity advisors can better understand the implications of what happens when people live longer—and can help their clients see more possibilities for life.
Helping Clients Have the Resources
But despite baby boomers’ goals of longevity and comfort, study after study warns they are often ill prepared financially for a post-working life that could last 20 years or more. Although their retirement savings vary considerably, about half of the 75 million baby boomers have set aside only $100,000 or less, according to a recent PwC survey.2
Therefore, building a plan with a focus on the future starts with the client having a clear picture of what longevity looks like for them—and ensuring the advisor sees that vision clearly.
Explore tools you can use today! Partner with Great-West Financial® to gain more insights on retirement and longevity. Visit http://greatwest.com/landingpage/20-years/ and help your clients make the picture they each paint of life 20 years from now a reality.
2 Campbell, Todd, “Baby Boomers’ Average Savings for Retirement.” www.fool.com, Dec. 17, 2016.
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