Most retirees go into retirement expecting to fill their days with travelling, taking up new hobbies, and spending time with their significant others. However, you can only spend SO much time playing golf, playing cards, and taking naps.
Many retirees are surprised to find themselves dealing with several unexpected consequences when they suddenly have nothing but nothing to do. Some of the common experiences include:
- Realizing that they have grown apart from their spouse over their working years
- Having too much time on their hands and not sure what to do with it
- Not having as much money as they thought
- Developing a lost sense of identity due to leaving the work force
- Being unsure of how to manage their finances moving forward
Obviously as a retirement planner and financial advisor, you make money by collecting assets and building financial plans. But, there are several small things we can incorporate into our conversations to:
- Improve the quality of life for your retiree clients
- Improve their financial situation in retirement
- Build your business
1. Add a therapist to your network of referral partners
This concept is very simple. People will seek therapy in similar circumstances that they will approach financial planners - when they have a significant life event or are going through a time of uncertainty. Find a good counselor that you trust and do your clients a favor by suggesting they speak to someone about some of the emotional aspects of transitioning into retirement. That therapist will greatly appreciate it, and if it’s a good one, will likely return the favor and send some referrals your way.
2. Consider adding a divorce attorney to your network
As if retirement isn’t disruptive enough, many retirees divorce their spouse when they get out of the workforce and realize that they’ve been growing apart from the person they’ve been married to throughout their careers. According to a Pew Research Report, the divorce rate among U.S. adults ages 50 and older have doubled since the 1990’s. Retiree or not, a newly divorced individual needs to have financial plan in place that fits the provisions of the separation and their new lifestyle. A divorce attorney is well aware of the need of a financial advisor in the divorce process and can also be an excellent referral partner.
3. Encourage your clients to find a new purpose
Many people find their identity within their career and feel as though they’ve lost their purpose when they move into retirement. The work place is one of the primary places where people get human interaction, physical activity, and social stimulation. The void can leave people feeling bored, restless, and dissatisfied which will lead to mental and physical deterioration.
Community organizations, philanthropic initiatives, and religious communities are all places where your clients can find meaning, feel productive, and set new goals that keep them engaged and inspired.
4. Provide your clients with resources to find employment and stay employable
Additional streams of income, even if its part time, will take the pressure off of “having enough” money in retirement, and may allow clients to:
- defer social security benefits
- defer defined benefit plan payments
- make additional contributions to defined contribution plans
- potentially lower health care costs based on health insurance eligibility through an employer.
Some of the obstacles retirees face when trying to find full or part time work later in life include:
o Not having up to date skills
o Losing touch with their professional networks
o Staying culturally up to date regarding fitting in at a workplace environment
It is important that your clients think about staying employable and research potential job opportunities post-retirement BEFORE they become unemployed.
Some resources to help your older clients find full or part time work:
- Retirement Jobs (www.retirementjobs.com)
- Your Encore (www.yourencore.com)
- Encore Careers (www.encore.org)
- The Transition Network (www.thetransitionnetwork.org)
- The AARP website has a national employer team listing companies and information about job opportunities at the companies for older workers
5. Create opportunities for your clients to try new things and meet new people
Can you say – Client Appreciation Events? The Advisor Coach nails it in a 2017 article when he says “Here’s the truth: If you don’t appreciate your clients, someone else will.” Client appreciation events are a way to increase client loyalty, happiness, and engagement. As an advisor hosting client events, you can increase your refer-ability, show your shining personality outside of the office, and build a sense of community and awareness for your business. You can read the article referenced above HERE to read tips on how to host a successful event:
The main point here, however, is helping your clients stay active and socially stimulated. Per The Advisor Coach, here are some ideas for client events that will do just that:
- Host a cooking class
- Wine tasting
- Sporting events
- Ice cream socials
- Art classes
- Document shredding parties
- Holiday events
6. Stay on top of your clients finances and reevaluate their distribution strategy regularly
Taking the initiative to manage your clients’ plans on an going basis will also make the transition into retirement easier on your clients, even if it doesn’t make you as much money as when you initially brought the plans into management at the beginning of the relationship. It’s called being a fiduciary and doing your job. :)
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Citations and sources:
"HS353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies, and Solutions" by David Littell through the American College of Financial Services (2017)
“HS354 Source of Retirement Income”by David Littell through the American College of Financial Services (2018)