InvestmentNews Data reports that 66% of children fire their parent’s financial advisor after they receive an inheritance. This seems ironic because these same children receive the benefit of the planning that the advisors provided to their parents. What is wrong with this picture?
To work with aging individuals and never develop a relationship with their children or their other planners is a wasted opportunity. In the next 30 years a financial legacy of some 30 trillion dollars will pass from the Baby Boomers to Generation X and the Millennials.
Remember the old phrase in the guessing game – ‘What are you: Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief?’ Let’s identify the main influencers in your client’s life.
How do they influence planning for a client?
- They have a close relationship with the aging individual because they address personal care needs
- They are strong influencers with opinions highly valued by their patient, family members and caregivers
- They serve a medical role but often call for some type of legal intervention to accomplish the medical care of the aging individual
Can they enable the Doctors and Financial Planners to better do their jobs?
- They often have existing relationships with the client as they age
- They often have experience with family members through the client’s accounts or personal interaction
- They advise their client and create appropriate legal documentation for medical and financial options to be legally carried out
Wealth Builders and Financial Planners
Can they work with the Lawyers to help provide funds to finance medical care and an inheritance to the next generation?
- Like laywers, wealth managers often have existing relationships with the client as they age
- They often have experience with their family through client’s accounts or thru personal interaction
- They have a role to advise their client and manage their money which has been entrusted to them for their future care needs and their desired lifestyle
Can this be where the rubber hits the road – as far as a plan that can stand the test?
- This group is where the white noise is really created and it gets loud for the client and their family
- Consists of inadvertent planners – the banker adds another name to the bank account – but unbeknownst to him is that someone has a diagnosis of beginning dementia and all the legal and financial planning to protect that person’s choices and assets has just been undone
- May be well meaning friends – a friend of a friend, golfing buddies, ladies at the club, family members around the holiday table and even Bob at the gas station. Everyone has a story they want to tell about how they did well for themselves. As these inspirational stories continue they often evolve into “advice” causing agonizing questions and nagging doubts to be raised for your client and their family about the planning options you have suggested.
Conclusion: Left Hand Must Talk to Right Hand
It is important to be aware that all these players are important influences in your client’s life as they age and become less independent. You must also be aware of the intricate interactions and potential conflicts in advice given by the planners.
A total view approach is needed so that all of the planners are on the same page and that the client and his family are aware and comfortable with that fact.
While working with aging clients and their family members can be challenging, remember that we work hard all our lives so that we and our children (enter the Gen Xers and the Millennials) can have better lives. We rely heavily on those trusted individuals that help us maintain our desired lifestyle and look forward to helping the next generation have a better life, too!