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    What Clients Really Want from a Financial Professional

    posted in Client Relationships Aug 2, 2022


    As a financial professional, do you think you know what your clients value in your working relationship, or do you actually know with certainty?

    Of course, certainty in the financial services industry is elusive, but there are principles to consider when meeting with prospective clients. The approach an advisor takes with a prospective client typically needs to leverage different skills and strategies than when working with established clients.

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    Why Individuals Might Not Turn to Financial Professionals for Guidance

    posted in Client Relationships Jul 26, 2022


    Who do most people turn to for trusted financial advice? While a financial advisor might seem like the obvious choice, it’s not always the answer. 

    According to a recent survey from the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), only one in three (33.4%) respondents turn to financial professionals with their questions on finances. Most (40.8%) ask parents, family, friends or coworkers, and a concerning one in four (25.8%) say they don’t have anyone to turn to for trusted financial advice.1 

    Some might suggest these findings are indicative of a stigma that has long plagued the financial services industry. Namely, some individuals may assume that financial advisors are only motivated by money and driven by greed. Hence, they turn to others or to no one at all. Most advisors would agree that these assumptions are far from accurate, and that their greatest satisfaction comes from seeing others enjoy financial freedom.

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    3 Tips for Managing Expectations and Keeping Clients Satisfied

    posted in Client Relationships Jul 19, 2022


    Whatever aspirations clients have with their finances, they can likely boil down to two simple goals: growing their wealth and feeling confident about retirement. However, many people might feel that financial planning is overly complicated. They’re looking for an advisor to handle the responsibility of deciphering the complexities on their behalf.

    Clients generally know their limits, and they rely on your expertise and knowledge to help them invest in various platforms while shielding them against risk as best you can. They may have certain expectations of you — some you can fulfill and some that may not be possible.

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    Stuck in the Middle with You…and You: Tackling the Financial Strains of the Sandwich Generation

    posted in Client Relationships Jul 12, 2022


    As much as they may want it to be, the sandwich generation isn’t so called because of their love of deli delights. Rather, this refers to people of this generation who are sandwiched between caring for their children as well as their aging parents.

    As one would expect, this puts a significant financial burden on this generation, with having to care for themselves, their children and their parents all at once. Since July is Sandwich Generation Month, here are a few ways you can approach the topic with your clients who may be stuck in the middle of this unique financial predicament.

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    When and How to Use Roth IRAs in Estate Planning

    posted in Advanced Planning Jul 5, 2022


    Each one of us has a limited amount of time on this planet. When that time is up, it’s comforting to know that we can still help take care of the surviving members of our families with our estate. But the estate we leave behind doesn’t come from nowhere; instead, it can take years of careful planning and savvy investing to build, and equally careful planning to execute for maximum impact.

    When helping a client with their estate planning, it’s important to look at all avenues for creating a legacy that meets their vision and values. One such road to visit is a Roth IRA. Here, we’ll explain when and how to use Roth IRAs in estate planning, and why they may be a good idea, so you can guide your clients and their families down the right path.

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    Financial Risks to Retirees Over 75

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 28, 2022


    The population of Americans ages 75 to 84 is 20 times higher than it was in 1900, while the 85+ age group is 53 times larger.1 More and more Americans will likely reach higher ages in a world full of advanced medicine and healthcare technology, and that means preparing for what it entails to live well past normal retirement age, which the Social Security Administration currently defines as between 65 and 67.2

    While the list of issues that could arise as one ages is long, three standout late-life financial risks may pose major problems for some retirees over 75:

    1. Declining cognitive abilities leading to financial mistakes or possible victimization
    2. High medical expenses, especially out-of-pocket costs
    3. The possibility of widowhood and its unique challenges
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    College Planning: It’s Closer Than You Think

    posted in Client Relationships Jun 21, 2022


    Graduation is barely in the rear-view mirror and the fall semester is right around the corner. Now is the time to enjoy one last summer before the first year of college. Ideally, everyone would have begun planning for college years ago and could breathe a sigh of relief today, knowing the hard work is behind them. Still, this can be an emotionally charged time for many family members.

    Once you meet a client and learn about the family makeup, one of the first questions to ask is, “Have you started planning for college?” Advisors often focus primarily on retirement planning,  but higher education funding is an important part of financial planning conversations for families with children and younger couples who may wish to pursue their own post-secondary education goals. Even if your client doesn’t currently have children, if they intend to, it’s never too early to start saving for college.

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    5 Questions to Ask Investors in a Post-Pandemic World

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 14, 2022


    It’s debatable whether or when we’ll actually arrive in a truly post-pandemic world, yet many are hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But will things return to “normal?”

    The pandemic brought unprecedented changes and disruption that will leave a lasting mark, and ongoing market volatility and global uncertainty will likely continue to impact investors for the foreseeable future. A new normal for your clients may also include new personal goals that require a different approach to their financial strategies.

    Now is an opportune time to help clients identify any new priorities in life and assess their retirement goals to ensure they align.

    Here are five questions to help you start the conversation with clients.

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    June is National Annuity Awareness Month

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 7, 2022


    June is National Annuity Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to introduce and discuss the overall benefits of annuities with your clients.

    Guaranteed income conversations take on added importance when discussing confidence among retirees regarding their savings. Given the tumultuous nature of the market the last two years and the uncertainty that lies ahead, many more of your clients may be interested in exploring risk control options with you.

    But before we get into how annuities can benefit retirees, let’s look at what a recent survey found regarding confidence in retirement.

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    Older Workers and the Great Resignation

    posted in Retirement Planning May 31, 2022


    It’s all over the news — what’s being touted as “the Great Resignation,” consisting of a high number of workers who, likely triggered by the pandemic and what it uncovered in work life and life in general, have decided to move on from their current jobs to greener pastures.

    People have been leaving their employers since the dawn of time, but the rate at which people are resigning now has been making headlines. While just about every demographic is represented in some way, it’s by and large younger workers who are leaving their jobs during this exodus.1 

    So, what about older workers? You won’t find quite the same numbers of people from that demographic partaking in the Great Resignation. What’s different, and why aren’t they leaving in droves like their younger counterparts? Here, we explore some of the stats and how advisors can approach the topic with their older clients.

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