As financial advisers, we work hard to make sure our clients’ economic well-being is complete. But not as much time is spent considering and advising on the other parts of their lives that ultimately make their money matter.
For many clients, their career was a large part of their being, and retirement presents the new challenge of finding meaning in their days. I always tell my clients: Financial preparedness is only a piece of the equation in retirement; you must understand its impact on every part of your life.
The following are a few of the conversations I regularly lead to inspire a meaningful dialogue around building a fulfilling retirement plan.
How will you invest in your primary asset, which you can’t get back — your health? Staying mentally and physically sharp is key to your clients being able to truly enjoy their retirement. Leaving the workforce may mean a reduction in physical and mental activities, which could pose a wide range of health risks. While you should always recommend that they consult their physician before beginning any exercise program, advocating that they join a fitness center or pick up golf, tennis or other sports can be a great way to make up for the reduced physical activity. Learning a foreign language or a new musical instrument, or researching their ancestry are other activities I like to recommend to keep their minds active.
What relationships are important to you? Our relationships are one of the most complicated and at times, messy parts of our lives. Your clients are no exception. This can be a very intimate conversation, but make sure your clients know that retirement affects everyone in their life. For some, retirement may mean making new efforts to stay connected, whether with a spouse, kids, grandkids or friends. Another consideration is the rise of “gray divorce” — divorces of people 50 or older. Pew Research reports that among U.S. adults who are 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s. Others may be exploring new dating opportunities. Whatever their circumstances, encourage them to give meaningful thought to the relationships they want to build and foster as part of their retirement transition.
How will you invest more time in things you are passionate about? A fulfilling retirement requires having a purpose. This may come in the form of being of service — to one’s family or community, or spending more time on philanthropic endeavors. For other clients, it could mean focusing on a hobby or even growing that hobby into a business as a source of retirement income. Whether it’s arts and crafts or real estate investing, it’s important to encourage your clients to find their passions in retirement.
What will be your legacy? While estate planning documents and financial assets are important, legacy is something far greater. As fellow retirement coach Bob Laura recently shared on my podcast The Retirement Resource, “Passing on wealth doesn’t always mean passing on wisdom.” Whether it involves writing letters or putting together audio recordings, providing your clients with a guided process to capture their stories, beliefs and values will provide critical, true wealth to their loved ones for future generations.
By initiating these critical conversations as part of your advising practices, you will be on your way to helping your clients discover their richest life. Not only is this deeply rewarding for your clients and for you as an adviser, but also for building a long-term business model rooted in personal relationships and delivering profound value to future generations.
Beau Henderson is the founder of RichLife Advisors, a wealth and retirement planning firm that provides pre-retirees and retirees with holistic wealth management services.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.