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American's Top Concerns re: Retirement/Aging - Aging Wisely

I was recently reading an article in the Journal of Financial Planning where Pamela Yip financial columnist from the Dallas Morning News described the issues that most concern her readers. She described that her constituency wants to talk about life planning issues, beyond just the numbers. The top 2 concerns of her readers were: 1. retirement issues (will I be able to retire?) including the fear of outliving resources and 2. taking care of aging parents. This struck a cord with me, because these are the two core issues of my business.

As good professional advisors, having resources to help clients deal with these critical life planning issues is the key to being successful, in my humble opinion. We are fortunate to work with advisors who do just that…and I believe that is why they continue to thrive. Personally, having my financial advisor ask about our life plans, family, goals, worries…and then being able to connect us to good resources for estate planning, long term care, and caregiving for aging parents…is what makes me feel my advisor is worth it–and makes me loyal (as well as confident in referring others). Don’t you want to be the “go to” resource for your clients–even if it is outside your purview? Those clients are sure to stick by you, when they know they can pick up the phone and you can help. There’s an inherent trust there that goes “beyond the numbers”.

Every day my phone rings and it is one of those clients (or even the professional advisor themselves) calling about their concerns (typically caring for an aging parent or aging and trying to coordinate a plan that works with the resources they have). Often, after we help, we get letters of thanks from the families and very often, they give great thanks and praise to that professional advisor who had the solution for them when they most needed it.

Any of us in an advisory role to clients need to equip oursleves with an understanding of their concerns, motivations and goals. Then, we need to make sure we have the tools and partners to address them. As humans, our financial, legal, medical, social, spiritual (etc.) lives are intricately connected and each can have a huge impact on the other.

One parting thought, from the same publication, this stat: 55% of Americans say being a burden on their family is their #1 concern when it comes to long term care needs. The best advisors will help clients address their top concerns, such as this, and will “do well by doing good”.

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