While every age group experiences the stresses of daily life, Coughlin says, those age 45 and older are likely to experience more demands on their time, finances, emotions and mental resources than any other. Those stresses can include dealing with children in the terrible teens, managing college expenses, welcoming young adults back home after they retreat from a difficult job market, and coping with the health and financial issues of older parents or other older relatives.
Oftentimes, advisors overlook simple strategies that not only can meet a client's more immediate needs but can also lead to bigger opportunities in the future. For example, a client who is wrestling with rising college tuition might benefit from a 529 college savings strategy. Or a client whose income precludes her from contributing to a Roth IRA might appreciate the opportunity to convert a non-qualified IRA to a Roth IRA. "Today's consumers are saying, 'Don't talk to me about what happens 20 years from now when I don't know where I'll be in the next 20 minutes!'" Coughlin says.
Saturdays have become one of the most heavily congested days on the nation's roads as Americans scramble to check off lists of chores they could not get to during their busy work week. That means advisors must find ways to meet their clients on their terms.
Twenty years ago, our doctor's advice might have been "take two aspirin and call me in the morning." But today, patients have likely self-diagnosed themselves with a dozen different diseases from a list of 32 symptoms they discovered on the web. In a similar way, your clients will be looking to research and validate financial options before making decisions. Are you incorporating technology via web tools and helpful websites that your firm provides or allows you to access?
In its own way, the touchstone provided a source of realism, relevance and responsiveness for citizens of the ancient world. Its ability to assess the value of precious metals brought a new sense of security and trust, enabling peoples from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea to move ahead with their commerce and their lives.
As an advisor with the ability to assess retirement readiness—no matter how your clients define the term—you too can help them move toward the future with a greater sense of confidence, security and trust. You can do so by serving as their retirement touchstone.
John Diehl, CFP, is a senior vice president for The Hartford's wealth management business.
The views expressed here are those of John Diehl and should not be construed as investment advice.
The Hartford is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. Annuities are issued by Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company and Hartford Life Insurance Company. The Hartford is a founding
partner of the MIT AgeLab, which is not an affiliate or subsidiary of The Hartford.