The Client-centred Blog

Should Financial Planners stop talking about retirement?

The traditional idea of retirement is past its sell-by date

Why should financial planners choose their language carefully in their financial planning conversations with clients?

Think about the people who are reaching retirement age right now.

It is baby boomers. Those people born post war, between 1946 to 1964.  

The original idea of retirement began in the mid to late 1800’s and prior to this people expected to work for the whole of their lives.

Back in the 1800’s and until far more recently life expectancy was significantly shorter than it is now. In fact, in the average life expectancy of a man was late 50’s. So, you died before you retired in many cases!

The traditional idea of retirement is outdated

Some psychologists refer to the post retirement years as the ‘third age’ because you potentially have another third of your life to live and those years offer rich opportunities for fulfilment.

Many financial planners promote themselves in the area of ‘Retirement planning’ yet if they were to do a little research, they would discover that many baby boomers do not identify with the traditional idea of retirement.

Even the word ‘retirement’ is a turn-off for many.

People are not slowing down as they reach traditional retirement age. They are not waiting to die. Instead, they want to engage fully in life by starting a business, travelling, studying, spending more time with family and friends, being active, and using their considerable skills to contribute to society.  

What is the value of financial planning conversations?

Far too many financial advisers continue to assume a client’s primary interest is in financial products and investments. But the truth is that this is more often the financial adviser’s primary interest, not the clients.

I read about a sociological survey of fifty people (source: Life Expectancy by William Keiper), each of whom was at least ninety-five years old. They were asked the question:

“If you could live your life over, what would you do differently?” Some of the key findings were that they would have:

1. Taken more risks when they had the opportunities to do so.

2. Been more reflective about their lives and whether they were living in accordance with their values and priorities.

3. Created a legacy that demonstrated their lives counted in a way that they would be remembered.  

The value in financial planning conversations is, first and foremost, helping a client gain clarity because without this how can a meaningful plan be created?

What can you explore within a financial planning conversation?

Some of the core things to talk about with your clients are:

*What do they value most in life?

*What does living in accordance with their values look like to them?

*How true are they being true to this vision?

*What do they want to do but are holding back?

*What do they want their legacy to be?

The main point is…

The way to significantly improve the power and value of your client conversations is to begin with a blank slate.

This means choosing your language carefully, dropping all assumptions, and avoiding projecting your thinking onto a client.

Instead of a loaded question like “When do you want to retire?” you can use a question like, “Where do you see yourself in xxx years from now?”

These may seem like small and insignificant changes, but you will be often amazed at the difference it makes. Genuine curiosity with no agenda is powerful. (click here to read, ‘Financial Planning – how to have clients sell it to themselves’

You will find yourself connecting with clients in a deeper, more human way. They will get significantly more value from your conversations and what you can do for them because it is meaningful for them in the context of their life.

P.S. A useful distinction I learned is trusting vs. testing. You do not need to trust that this article has any truth to it. Test it for yourself. At the next opportunity you have empty your mind, drop all assumptions, and notice how your client responds.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Related articles

The right way to set financial planning goals
In this article, you are going to discover how to help your clients set financial planning goals, the right way. You are also going to learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy goals and how this makes a massive difference to your client’s level of motivation, inspiration, and enjoyment of life now.
Highly effective rapport building for financial planners
A deep rapport with your client is the foundation for a productive, profitable, and long-lasting relationship. Therefore, being highly effective at quickly building and maintaining a deep rapport is an essential skill for financial planners.
A simple guide to influencing financial planning clients
Do you want to become more effective at influencing financial planning clients? In this simple guide I explore one of the most crucial factors of influence you can apply immediately for better results.
One of the best financial planning questions and how to use it
Often, the best financial planning questions are the ones that help a client to open up and think more deeply. Why is this important? Because the impact of your financial planning and advice is directly correlated to quality of the information you gather from your client.
Should you take notes in a financial planning meeting?
What is the right approach to note taking in financial planning meetings? This is a question that often comes up in my coaching programmes with financial planners. So, let's take a closer look.
4 ways to create massive value financial planning meetings
How to do a brilliant financial planning fact find
Doing a brilliant financial planning fact find underpins everything that you do for a client. It is what differentiates you from other financial planners and is a golden opportunity to build exceptional relationships and provide massive value. But there are also two very different elements to fact finding.
The hidden secret to high-impact financial planning meetings
Do you want to have your financial planning meetings be high-impact, high-engagement experiences for both your clients and you? Of course! We all want this, don't we?
5 steps financial planners can take to becoming a better listener
As a financial planner what value is there in becoming a better listener? Is it worth your time, effort, and focus to improve? This article explores the value of deep listening and 5 practical steps you can take to immediately become a better listener.
Asking essential financial planning questions: the ones that no one else thinks to ask
This article looks at an important aspect of asking financial planning questions that often get neglected. Often, financial advice is triggered when something happens or is going to happens in a client’s life. For instance, the sale of a business, divorce, or an upcoming retirement.
How financial planners can build instant trust with clients
As a financial planner building instant trust with clients is one of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome. This article looks at a different yet highly effective approach.
What is the most important financial planning question of all?
Do you want to have greater impact with your clients, create more value, and escape the diminishing world of transactional financial advice? If so, there is an important financial planning question.
Presenting your clients financial plan - the key to success
How to get more financial planning referrals
Would you like to generate more high quality financial planning referrals?
Great people skills - in an instant!
Is it possible to have great people skills in an instant?
How to ask great financial planning questions
Asking great financial planning questions is the bedrock of gathering the information you need to create a highly compelling plan for your client.
Why is your financial planning practice culture the key to delivering exceptional service?
Are you committed to delivering exceptional client service? If so, employees who genuinely care, communicate well, and take responsibility are the key. The foundation of this resides in the business culture you create.
Are your financial planning conversations too nice?
What is the difference between a financial advisory conversation and a financial planning conversation?
Understanding your client’s world – key number 1
Financial Advice is so often delivered in very unimaginative ways that has little difference to how the majority of practitioners deliver it.